Science in the sunshine

In March, there was a fun and inspiring science event for Girlguiding members aged 5-14 from Cam Division. Over 240 Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and their leaders gathered for an afternoon of “Science in the sunshine” in Waterbeach. With 50 different activities to try, the day was enjoyed by girls and volunteers alike. The day was made possible by a regional grant from the Royal Society of Biology. Leader Holli Bielby, who organised the event, took inspiration from a day spent volunteering at the Royal Society of Biology’s “Big Biology Day” in Cambridge last year.

As well as having loads of fun taking part, volunteers were on hand at every station to explain the science behind the activities.

The queue for making ice cream in a bag was out the door. Girls of all ages created sugar water density columns, pH paintings and chromatography flowers. An obsession with slime meant that exploring the properties of a non-Newtonian fluid (cornflour slime) was an activity that many enjoyed. We just won’t mention the mess in the playground afterwards.

Rainbows particularly loved exploring the Nature Garden where they went hunting hidden butterflies and identifying trees by their leaves or fruits. The “Science of Bubbles” was high on their list too!

Brownies were both fascinated and disgusted by “owl puke” when they dissected the contents of an owl pellet. They also learned how to use a micropipette and tested their senses in the physiology zone.

Guides tackled some of the more advanced activities on offer. They were able to extract DNA from bananas, prepared onion cell microscope slides and dissected daffodils.

Organiser Holli Bielby said “I am passionate about delivering fun, practical science to students. I’m fortunate to do this in my professional role as a Science Technician at the University Faculty of Education. Also in my “Science Children’s University” that I lead at my local primary school and in my voluntary work with Girlguiding. I hope the event today has inspired other unit leaders to explore more science with their groups.”

Guides at science day Brownies at science day Rainbows at science day