Academic Senior School

Years 7 and 8 carry out practical experiments in the lab.

Senior students have been making the most of our excellent lab facilities while furthering their scientific know-how. In a practical lesson, Thornton’s Year 7s carried out an experiment with tealights as part of a module called How Science Works.

Aware that a lit candle needs to draw oxygen from the air to continue burning, they had the opportunity to see the concept in action.

Miss Melluish armed them with different sized beakers and, with a stopwatch, the girls timed how many seconds it took for a burning flame to be extinguished when the beakers were placed over the tealight. Did more air correspond to a longer burn? Did the girls notice that if they limited the amount of air available, the flame would go out once it had used up all the oxygen?

In another class, Year 8s had a sticky problem to solve. A pack of camels had been carrying salt on their backs but some of the bags had split open and become mixed up with the desert sand. Could the students put their scientific knowledge of separating mixtures to good use? Could they plan and design a means of removing the salt from the sand?

After working on diagrams and illustrating why each stage of their chosen process was necessary, the girls put their theory to the test. They collected beakers, water and filter paper and used them to filter the sand from the salt, resulting in the sand being left in the filter paper and salty water deposited in the beaker. This water they were then able to evaporate with a Bunsen burner – leaving a salty residue ready to once again be transported by the camels.


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