Falkirk and Northern Ireland students aim to prove science is fun

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A joint venture between Falkirk’s Forth Valley College (FVC) and Northern Ireland students is bringing simple - and fun - science into primary schools.

The Lab in an Envelope project has seen first year Access to Science students at FVC’s Falkirk Campus use Skype to team up with 16 students from Northern Ireland’s South Eastern Regional College.

Together they have devised four simple experiments, which have been filmed and are now available to view as an academic resource.

The experiments are: an Eco System in a Bottle, Environmentally Friendly Plastic, How to Make a Rainbow (using vinegar and baking soda), and Making a DNA Helix (with sweeties and cocktail sticks).

Science lecturer Sandra Bacon said: “The students have been researching on the internet and have designed a series of experiments to ignite an interest in science among primary school pupils.

“We want to encourage schools to replicate these experiments with materials that can be found in a regular kitchen and we are sure the pupils will have fun learning about science.”

Fiona Jackson, Curriculum Manager in the college’s Department of Engineering and Science, said: “These projects are such a great way of increasing learner confidence through the sharing of ideas with their classmates and the Irish learners, as well as giving them something completely different to put on their CV or personal statement.

“It is so good to see how they embrace the challenge with such enthusiasm, not to mention developing new skills such as using skype technology to hone their communication skills, teamworking, problem solving and independent research, and putting together a video of the project.”

Student Shawn Flynn (19) from Grangemouth, said: “I have really enjoyed this so far. It has been great researching the different simple and fun experiments that primary pupils can easily get involved with at school.”