With the school year coming to an end, summer beginning to show its face and their profile decisions more or less in the bag, the pupils of class 3Y couldn’t wait to get some serious kilometres behind them in the saddle. Time therefore for the annual science taster at the University of Groningen’s Bernoulliborg and Linnaeusborg buildings, where Tanja van der Woude et al. had once again put together an appealing programme.
May 31 was the big day, and at about 8.30 in the morning, a mass of cheerful faces and honed physiques, we set off for Groningen for an intensive programme that would keep us off the streets until 3 in the afternoon. An informative lecture on the Big Bang, an enthralling visit to the observatory and the telescope and an excellent explanation of the constellations and how you really can ‘see’ a big bear in the stars that make up Ursa Major (or the Great Bear). Try it out for yourself by installing the program Stellarium at home.
After a well-earned lunch, it was time to visit to the equally appetizing exhibits in the hall. Brainball was all-round favourite. Come and try it yourself sometime! Then it was off to the greenhouses to explore normal and modified plants, followed by fish from the perspective of biology. The highlight here was feeding the paddlefish, a creature that uses its mouth as a sieve to eat plankton from the water.
So what did the kiddiewinks think? It’s not easy to tell with this rather quiet and unassuming class. They were certainly very focused and appeared to be deep in thought. Who knows what they will decide in three years’ time? Something always sticks, even if some of the explanations were more apt for pupils from years five or six.
Then it was homeward bound with the weather gods smilin g on us once again as we pedalled along without a care in the world – except for the one chain guard that decided to flap around – the pupils following the mentor’s orders to the letter and cycling two abreast like a bunch of first years. Homework may have awaited them on their return, because the year isn’t quite over yet...!
Report: Anneke de Vries, classics teacher, Lindenborg School, RSG De Borgen, Leek.
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