How much do you weigh on Mars? Which is denser olive oil or Fairy Liquid? and Which element literally melts in your hands?  Were just some of the research projects budding scientists at Dean Close Prep School investigated over their Easter break.

At the end of last term pupils were invited to investigate a topic, develop an experiment or challenge a hypothesis about an area of science that inspires them. Working individually or in pairs, projects were submitted to this voluntary challenge, creating a colourful exhibition of fascinating concepts, which fellow pupils visited over the following days to learn new facts and interesting ideas from their now expert classmates.

The exhibition was judged by Head of Science, Daniel Fraine and Head of Biology at the Senior School, Andrew Martin. A couple of projects that really stood out were the melting point of Gallium. Gallium is a solid at room temperature, but has a very low melting point of just 29 degrees Celsius. When held it melts! This was a brilliant way of demonstrating the different properties of elements. Another excellent project was ‘Tricking the brain’. Drinks coloured incorrectly had everyone’s heads in a spin as pupils tried lemon squash that was actually red and other incorrectly coloured flavoured drinks.

The winning project was a fantastic piece of topical research by Evie Turner and Rachel Silvester who created ‘Chemical Element Top Trumps’. Evie and Rachel had done a great deal of research to be able to score each of the elements according to how strong they were, when they were discovered and how often they were used. Some of the top scorers included Oxygen scoring 7/10, 1772 and 10/10 and Iron scoring 8/10, 500BC and 9/10.

Mr Martin said, “The amount of research the girls would have had to do to create this correctly would have been vast. They would have also learnt a great deal along the way. This would certainly make a fun revision tool!”

Mr Fraine, Head of Science at the Prep School said, “We had more entries than ever before and an excellent variety of experiments covering all kinds of different areas of science. When parents visited the exhibition it was wonderful to hear them commenting on how well the pupils explained the science behind each of their projects. Teaching someone else is a very effective way to learn!”

A list of all the projects entered is listed below.


Exhibitor/s Project

Benedict Braddock, Bella Chihota

and Florence McKinnes

Investigating Gallium and the Melting Points of Metals
Y7* Erin Jeffreys Directing Sounds
Y7* Rachel Silvester and Evie Turner Element Top Trumps
Y7* Sophie Bowcher and Charlotte Jenkins Weight on Different Planets

Genevieve Bullingham, Evie Cooper

and Bella Gillet

Testing Solubility
Y7* Samuel Crawford Fire Triangle
Y7* Liv Thomas and Alexa Ellison Symptoms of Smoking
Y7* Georgia Pinkham and Lucy Webber Brain or Eyes?
Y7* Evie Mossop and Mirella Rymer Lava Lamp
Y7* Charlie Richards Homopolar Motor

Jemima Workneh, Emma Mardon

and Raquel Picazo Flores

What Effect do Drinks Have on Teeth?
Y7* James Carder-Geddes Sugar Science
Y7* Lizzie Coles Convection Currents
Y7* Anya Bailey Radio Waves
Y7 Brianna Brown and Daria Bannaya Cartesian Diver
Y7* Ben Houser Energy
Y7 Daniel Woodward Court and Daniel Wu Coke and Mentos
Y6* Lucy Godfrey, Megan Byrd and Zoe Thompson Sugar vs. Teeth

Darcey Chambers, Thomas Ridsdale

and Edward Sutherland

Lava Lamp
Y6* Isaac Stott Dancing Milk
Y6* George Mills & Maciej Wojcicki Aerodynamics
Y6* Michael Coates Lyon Growing Bacteria

Izzy Phillips, Alice Montgomery

and Rosie Thomas

Layers of Liquids
Y6* Louise Cottingham and Jessica Hindley Edible Slime
Y6* Oliver Mackay and Freddie Martin Egg in the Bottle
Y6* Alex Ristic Carbon Atom Model
Y6 Daisy Salisbury and Lizzie Woodman Chromatography
Y6* The Caton Family Nutrition Top Trumps
Y6* Ella Lee, Amber Woodman and Meghan Williams Vinegar Volcano