"There is no doubt this is a very special school with fantastic facilities and fantastic teachers who make all the difference. It's just a shame that every school in the country cannot be like Bolton School."

Sir Harry Kroto - Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry and Old Boy

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Science Festival Inspires Young Minds

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Twenty eight Primary schools visited Bolton School this week for a Science Festival aimed at inspiring young minds.

The festival provided an opportunity for gifted young pupils from Year 5 to make use of Bolton School's laboratories and resources and to absorb themselves in Science for the day. Schools from Bolton, Bury, North and West Manchester, Preston, Wigan and Leigh entered teams of four who spent the morning in Biology and Chemistry laboratories undertaking a number of challenging forensic and chemical practical activities, assisted by their own "Science Buddies" - pupils from the Girls' Division and Boys' Division.

The pupils got to take part in forensic science activities including blood testing, fingerprinting, chemical analysis of soil samples, chromatography and microscopic fibre examination. They also undertook a number of fun experiments involving chemical reactions and produced a variety of colours and smells, including Prussian Blue and Ammonia.

Head of St Catherine's school Karen Graham said: "It has been a fabulous day for the children. They have been able to explore things they cannot explore at primary school and having the chance to take part in practical experiments has made science interesting for them."

In the afternoon, pupils were amazed by a science magic show by Richard Robinson followed by an awards ceremony to recognise their efforts throughout the day. There were a number of prizes awarded to schools: St Catherine's won the Science Knowledge Quiz prize, Broadoak won the Biology Prize (Forensic Science activity) and Sunning Hill won the Chemistry Prize. The overall Science Festival prize winners were The Valley and they were presented with a range of prizes including science books as well as a cheque for £150 for the school to spend on science equipment.

Year 5 pupil Zain from The Valley School said: "I liked the chemistry best - it was fun mixing the different chemicals, watching them changing colour and listening to them go pop!"

Mrs Keech, Classroom Assistant at St Paul's Astley Bridge said: "It is great for the children to have access to labs and to much more advanced equipment than we have at our school; it has been a really interesting and fun day for them too."

Miss Sarah Gorner, organiser (along with Dr Sara Wastie and Mr Mark Jones) of the event said: "This is always a special day in the Bolton School calendar and reminds me of what teaching is all about - inspiring a love of science in the young that they will hopefully carry with them into the future.  There was certainly some promising scientific minds at work today!  The Year 10 helpers also need to be commended for their work in making the day run so smoothly."

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The Valley

This year's Science Festival winners were The Valley Primary School

Science Festival 2010

Children appreciated being able to spend a whole day studying and having fun with Science

Science Festival Bolton School

Children were helped in their work by Sixth Form students or buddies