17 March 2017
Buckland CofE Primary School has been celebrating British Science Week with a variety of exciting activities, including an all day visit by their Year 5 and 6 class to the Abingdon Science Partnership lab. Here they used their knowledge of many aspects of science and their link with a school in Malawi to help with the Practical Action 'Stop the Spread' challenge. The children first investigated the rapid spread of disease through a card game showing how quickly the whole class could become infected through contact with a few individuals. They then tested the effectiveness of their own hand washing using UV lamps and a fluorescent dye. The main part of the challenge involved developing a working model of a simple hand washing device, together with eye catching educational resources, for use in a school playground in a developing country. The children's ingenuity and skill in using lever and pulley systems and simple materials to achieve this was really inspiring and their final presentations left little to choose between all the excellent ideas they had come up with. Organisations such as Practical Action and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are actively promoting such ideas as part of the UN's Global Goals campaign. Some of the ideas put forward by the young development engineers at Buckland would certainly impress anyone looking to fund projects to save people from illness and death due to preventable diseases in many developing countries.