Y6 Enjoy Rainbow Fizz

Some of our budding Y6 scientists carried out an experiment with acids and alkalis in a chemistry lesson on transition day this year.

They used universal indicator, which changes colour to show the pH, and had to add the alkali to the acid carefully to produce a rainbow in the measuring cylinder.

Please watch the video below to see how much fun they had. Roll on September!

Rainbow Fizz Transition from Simon Balle on Vimeo.

Y7 Sound Waves 2018

Our Y7 students have been learning about sound waves.   They have discovered that sound waves are longitudinal and that their vibrations occur in the same direction as the direction of travel.  Sound waves can only travel through a solid, liquid or gas.  They have learnt that when an object vibrates it produces sound.

  • the greater the amplitude, the louder the sound
  • the greater the frequency, the higher the pitch

To help demonstrate these principles they have made musical instruments.   Their project had to illustrate both volume and pitch.   I hope you agree they have done this very well.

Challenge: Water – Success

A team of our Y8 students recently came second in Affinity Water’s Challenge: Water Competition. Students have been working since January on designing a water saving device. They have invented TAPP, a tap that is controlled by an app, with the intention that people would use less water when filling their bath. Students also had to promote water saving habits by running a campaign.

The competition ended with students having to present their project to over 100 people. The audience included competitors from other schools, university lecturers and representatives from Water Aid, Affinity Water, the Environmental Agency and Save Water, Save Money. The students did exceptionally well and winning second prize was a real achievement. Students will also be awarded with a Silver CREST award which is an impressive achievement for Y8 students. Well done.

Industrial Cadets and Big Bang Fair 2018

Good luck to our latest Industrial Cadets.  We have 2 teams of dedicated Y9 students who are currently working on a 10 week project working with EDT and GSK to improve health and recycling in our school. They will be presenting their work to a panel of experts on June 15th.



We also sent 3 teams to the finals of the  Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Competition.  The standard of entries this year was exceptionally high, but two of our teams made it through to the final round of judges, presenting their work to science professors from Oxford University and the CEO of a major engineering company.  Congratulations to all of them, they were excellent ambassadors for STEM in our school.

Space Data Zone 2018

Congratulations to Ruben in Y8 who was the student winner in the Space Data Zone in an event called “I am a Scientist Get Me Out of Here” held during National Science week.  This is an annual competition where real scientists discuss their work with students and the students get to ask questions and vote on their favourite.  Ruben won this prize for asking some of the best questions.  Could you answer them?

How long do stars live for?  Why is space black?  What does space smell like?  See the answers to these and more at https://spacedatam18.imascientist.org.uk/

8N Chromatography 4th May 2018

‘The force’ was certainly with 8N today in their science lesson with me.

Take a look at the fantastic chromatograms they produced from samples of grass. They were reproducing the original chromatography experiments from the early 20th century from which the technique gets its name. You can clearly see great separation of the four pigments.

Water Competition

A group of Y8 students have been selected to work with Affinity Water in a bid to raise awareness and save water.

Student Luca Bregazzi has written a brief overview of their project:

‘Recently, we have been entered into a water-saving competition. Our job is to create and present a water-saving item that works and makes people more water efficient. At the start, we surveyed students and teachers to see what issues affected our school the most. From this, the clear trend was that people filled their baths very high and had lots of baths a week. Due to this, our product was made to specifically help this. The Tapp is a smart tap that is controlled by an app. You make a profile and customise the amount of water and the temperature. The reason behind this is that many people accidentally leave the tap running or add more water than necessary. The app limits how much water is available to use and will only fill a bath to a maximum limit of water in is ⅔. With this idea we hope to convince the judges, hopefully win the competition and possibly have a working model made of our design!

We hope that our product can make a difference to people’s attitude towards water saving.’

You can see the site the Y8 students have set up for this project here: https://sites.google.com/simonballe.herts.sch.uk/h2go

Science Week 2018

Another fantastic science week took place at SBAS with many exciting activities taking place for all years on a range of topics.

Activities included honeycomb and ice cream making, the Great Egg Race, whizz bang chemistry experiments, making density towers and dissecting owl pellets. The primary students were involved too, setting off their own rockets on the school field. They were excellent, many flying very high into the sky.

The highlight, as usual, was the visit from members of the Royal Veterinary College who held a number of sessions.  They taught students about gowning up for operations, how to apply bandages, ultrasound and x rays analysis and – my favourite – learning how to stitch wounds together.

It was a great week – please look through the photos below.

Hooke’s Law

Students in Y10 have been studying Hooke’s Law in Physics. They have been looking at stretching springs, elastic bands and strawberry laces to see the relationship between the force and extension.

They the used the data to calculate the spring constant (a measure of the stiffness of the spring) using the gradient of the line.

Jelly Baby Waves

The Y11s had terrific fun making transverse waves on Thursday.

They constructed metre long waves from sticky back plastic, bbq sticks and jelly babies (very ‘Blue Peter’-esque!) Doing the activity in this way really helped to embed their knowledge of wave length, amplitude, peaks and troughs.