Junior & Senior General

Head of Science Mr George puts on a fizzes, bangs and pops show.

In an afternoon during which he deep froze a sausage and played with homemade fireworks, our new Head of Science illustrated to Thornton students just how magical and wondrous science can be.

In a special demonstration to both Prep and Senior students Mr George explained some fundamentals of science through a series of fun experiments. He toyed with methane and heated various compounds such as copper and lithium to produce different-coloured flames and he added iron filings to other flames to make Bonfire Night-like sparklers.

The girls also witnessed giant bubbles floating across the lab – always spherical because of equal forces pushing on the liquid surface from both inside and out. Perhaps best of all, Mr George introduced his captive audience to liquid nitrogen and how its -196°C temperature can radically alter the properties of a substance.

Like a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat, he extracted a deflated balloon from the vial, only for the girls to see it inflate right in front of their eyes. When particles get very cold they huddle together, Mr George explained, and take up less space. Once they are back in a more amenable temperature they begin to expand again. In a similar vein, he deep froze a sausage and used it to hammer a nail into a piece of wood before then cooking it on a bunsen burner to prove that this was indeed no fake!

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