Academy youngsters get to grips with science

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Youngsters at Ellon Academy enjoyed a variation to their usual science curriculum, as ‘Lab in a Lorry’ visited the Old Academy site on Tuesday.

Pupils between the ages of 11 and 14 were shown three separate experiments on viscosity, resonance, and optics. The labs - which travel across Scotland - are funded by the Institute of Physics, OPITO, the Society of Petroleum Engineers and Schlumberger Foundation, in partnership with the Scottish Government. They are staffed by volunteers with a scientific background and, hitched to the back of a lorry, each of the labs is fully mobile.

Co-ordinator James Bamford told the Times: “The aim of Lab-in-a-Lorry is to inspire and encourage budding scientists. The exhibitions are aged at 11-14 year olds, and are sponsored by a number of scientific and engineering companies.”

Principle Teacher of Science Mike Cruickshank added: “From our point of view, the experiments help pupils relate what they are learning at school to the real world, and tie in well with the Curriculum for Excellence which encourages pupil participation. Visits like these will hopefully encourage some of these youngsters to carry on studying scientific subjects at a higher level.

“Lab-in-a-Lorry is great because the pupils have access to expensive scientific equipment and experiments which the constraints of the classroom might otherwise prevent us from showing them.”