9 June 2017

When the British Science Association (BSA) needed a small group of pupils to trial a new CREST Award Discovery Day at Thorpe Park the ASP was the obvious place to come to for help. As Abingdon School's own lower school boys were all about to embark on summer exams, one of our strongest partners, Larkmead School, provided ten eager, Year 7 volunteers to fill the places. The pupils were accompanied by ASP co-ordinator, Jeremy Thomas, and one of their own science teachers. Although the BSA provided them with a free day pass to Thorpe Park Resort and free registration for the CREST Discovery Award, they had to work hard on testing the activities in return. After a short briefing, two teams of pupils set off to make observations on aspects such as the psychology of the different attractions and to collect data on visitor numbers and queuing times. Armed with this information, they were then tasked with designing a new zone for the park backed up by evidence from their research. Both teams made excellent presentations about their designs, with imaginative ideas such as queuing inside an aquarium tunnel to relieve boredom and a water ride inside a glass sphere, through a flooded city to illustrate problems of sea level rise. Having deservedly earned their Discovery Awards, the pupils were also able to use their free passes to try out most of the rides in the park which they thoroughly enjoyed.

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