As Imperial College began preparing for its 5th annual Imperial Festival, with scientists and researchers providing interactive demonstrations for the public to see Imperial College Early Years also showcased their own ‘Science week’.
At the Early Years we devote our time to the development and learning of each individual child. We aim to provide an environment which is enabling, stimulating, exciting, and fun.
‘Understanding of the World’ is a specific area of the Early Years Foundation Stage, which enables the children to gain an understanding of the world around them, as well as introducing them to future subjects, such as the varies Sciences, Home Economics, Design and Technology etc.
Science week was Early Years way of supporting the Imperial Festival, as well as providing the children (from as young as the babies), with the foundation of what Science is.
All the rooms participated in this fun experience, and the staff researched exciting activities for the children to do, ranging from giant bubble play, lava volcanoes and lamps, insect investigation, and various experiments such as walking water, weather changes, water displacement, marble painting, and exploration of light, to name but a few. The babies had an abundance of sensory activities, allowing their curiosity and investigative skills to come alive, we the aid of cornflour gloop, water and sand play, and a small Science lab made out of old boxes for the babies to play in.
Each morning in the garden, the Early Years team worked together to create an array of colourful, interactive activities for the children to involve and engage themselves in. Staff interacted with the children as they played with ice jelly, watched shooting balloons, observed their fingerprints under a microscope, and learnt about ants, using bricks and different materials to make an ant colony.
The Early Years celebrated the work of our parents and their love of science by transforming our front entrance with an interest table, allowing the children to have many different experiences. We also had daily timetables to demonstrate to staff and parents all of the captivating ideas going on and a display of photographs of the parents and carers with a small caption of what they do within their scientific field.
Our Science week was made even more remarkable by the support we received from some of our parents - Dr Susie Maidment talked to the children about dinosaur bones, and Kristelle Bougot-Robin showed them a Lego spectrometer.
Dr Roberto Trotta explained (with the aid of some flour) how craters are made on the moon’s surface, and Dr Rowan Hooper did a demonstration about bees.
The Outreach team gave further support to our science week by providing the children with basic experiments like creating jelly worms using sodium algernate and calcium chloride, and making lava lamps with oil, water and a fizzy antacid tablet.
The children asked questions, shared their knowledge of the world around them, were excited by the things they saw, smelt, heard, felt and tasted, and also increased their vocabulary.
Our week was complete and like the festival there was a sense of achievement.
As the children at the Early Years grow and evolve we will await to see where the next generation of budding scientists, engineers, and those interested in medicine will be. We will take pride in knowing that some of their first experiences were right here at Imperial College Early Years.