Peterborough students celebrate British Science Week with a day at Flag Fen

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Peterborough students celebrate British Science Week with a day at Flag Fen
School Science Project in conjunction with the Natural History Museum (NHM) and Vivacity Culture and Leisure Peterborough, Flag Fen. The Museums and Schools project is funded by DfE through an Arts Council England programme that has partnered 10 regional museums with national museums with the aim to develop high quality visits and learning opportunities for schools, particularly those in less affluent areas, or areas of low engagement.   Peterborough Vivacity and NHM (via the Real World Science team) have worked in partnership to explore and develop new opportunities for upper primary and secondary students to access science learning through natural history collections and exploring the unique archaeology, environment and scientific research represented by Flag Fen.   Camlab Ltd, providers of laboratory equipment and consumables for water testing, were lucky enough to be invited along to observe Students from the Thomas Deacon Academy Peterborough on their science trip to Flag Fen Bronze age archaeological site during British Science Week. Organised by the National Programme Developer Annette Shelford from Real World Science at the Natural History Museum the specially arranged day gave the students an insight into one of the oldest man-made structures in the British Isles, a 3000 year old bronze age ritual causeway and platform that connected two pieces of land to the north and south of the fens and including some of the rare artefacts found between the timbers of the causeway, swords and precious items possibly sacrificed as offerings to their gods. Interestingly, the oldest wheel ever found is believed to be the one uncovered at Flag Fen and on display in the learning centre foyer. The year 7 student’s day focused on the scientific significance of the site; the soil structure that makes Flag Fen so unique that the wooden structures have survived, and the different sources of water that abound the site. The students took samples from various sites around Flag Fen including the main preservation hall, bore holes and the surrounding marsh ponds. Each sample was analysed for pH, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, nitrates, iron and phosphate. In the intervening weeks the students  will be collating their data and presenting  their findings to the organisers. The students also experienced digging an archaeological site, unearthing the layers of finds and documenting their results using the grid system. [caption id="attachment_6347" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Students excavating at Flag Fen Students excavating at Flag Fen[/caption] Camlab were very pleased to provide the students with Myron L PT1 and PT2 Conductivity and pH meters, which are robust rugged meters, easily handled by the year 7 students and gave very reliable reproducible results in their hands. The students also compared the readings obtained from the Myron meters with results from equivalent indicator papers to see how similar the results were. [caption id="attachment_6349" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Measuring PH using the Myron L PTII Pens Measuring PH using the Myron L PTII Pens[/caption] You can find a bit more information on Museums and Schools projects here: http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/what-we-do/our-priorities-2011-15/children-and-young-people/museums-and-schools-programme/   More about Real World Science here: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/education/real-world-science/   And links to Peterborough Museum's learning programmes here: http://www.vivacity-peterborough.com/information-for-schools/ For more info contact Camlab on 01954 233126 [contact_info]
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