Published on: 15 March 2013

Senior Peter Moyes Centre (PMC) boys had their first chemistry lesson recently as part of new initiative with the Science Department. There were plenty of loud bangs and explosive reactions as the Years 7 to 12 students enjoyed their learning experience in the science laboratory setting.

Science teacher Katy Brooks ran the lesson, which she and PMC teacher Amanda Fernihough plan to run once a term. “The idea behind today was getting the boys to experience science in the laboratory,” Mrs Brooks said. “We started off by looking at laboratory equipment like test tubes, beakers and measuring cylinders.”

Mrs Brooks said chemistry was an obvious first choice given some of the exciting reactions and explosions. The main theme was how everyday chemicals can behave in exciting ways focusing on water, metals, oxygen and hydrogen.

“First, we added metals (lithium, sodium and potassium) to water and saw them react and buzz around the surface – the potassium catching fire with a nice purple flame,” she said. “Then we made elephant toothpaste by quickly releasing oxygen from hydrogen peroxide with washing up liquid to make bubbles. Finally, we lit a hydrogen balloon.”

Ms Fernihough said the boys really enjoyed watching the reactions and being in the science laboratory. “They are really looking forward to having some more lessons with Mrs Brooks later in the year,” she said.