4 July 2017
The final science masterclass in a series run by The National Space Academy (NSA) took place in the Science Partnership Lab recently. Enthusiastic chemists from John Mason and St Helen's schools joined Abingdon School fourth years to investigate 'Martian Chemistry' in a workshop led by Jenny Green, NSA Lead Educator. The pupils were able to carry out practical investigations of various types of rocket fuel and then measure the energy output of a rocket motor in an exciting, outdoor experiment. As well as improving their investigative skills, their chemistry knowledge was also tested and extended through challenges such as constructing complex hydrocarbon molecule models under timed conditions. The final session of the workshop involved simulating the polar ice caps found on Mars, using solid carbon dioxide, or dry ice, which gave a real understanding of what conditions must be like on the surface of the red planet.