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First 'glass' science

The Phiz Lab at Shrubland Street Primary School and the Leamington Spa Primary Partnership are benefitting from funding from The Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers of London (GSCF).

As part of their Glass in Society initiative, GSCF agreed to fund new microscopes, which are now being used as a shared resource by 12 local schools. Students can engage in whole class microscopy projects, which support the ‘Working Scientifically’ aspect for the KS1 and KS2 science curriculum. 

The microscopy kit is already being put to good use by pupils across the year groups including 30 Year 6 children who have been using the microscopes when learning about light. They used maths skills to estimate their magnification and made predictions about how light travelled through them. They went on to research microscopes to test their predictions. It was a great opportunity for the children to develop their scientific diagrams and to apply recent learning about mirrors and lenses to a real-life situation.

A further 60 Year 5 and Year 6 pupils used the microscopes for their Martian Soil Laboratory as part of their Space Camp residential. They made careful observations of soil samples and rocks as well as observing the respiration of yeast.

“Both classes were really engrossed in the activities and made some fantastic observational drawings,” says Ogden Teacher Fellow Amanda Poole, specialist science teacher at Shrubland St. “It is wonderful to have whole classes engaged in this kind of accurate observing at the same time and it is leading to some fantastic questioning.” 

The microscopes have already been used by 100s of children: some have been learning about friction on different surfaces; others have been making observations of insects to learn how to group and classify them; and yet more have been making observations of some Micro-fossils that were acquired from the Geology department at Leicester University. It looks like sand but actually contains hundreds of tiny prehistoric fossils of sea creatures that the children find with the microscope.

“The children are really learning about how scientists work in a careful and methodical manner,” enthuses Amanda. “We hope we can take the kit on tour and reach even more pupils! It is a fantastic resource, which is having (or going to have) such an impact in all our schools for years to come.”

Thank you to The Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers of London their investment of under £1000 is benefiting so many students in the West Midlands.