Friday Headlines

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Jubilee Science Challenge

10 June 2022

It took only 1,331 biscuits to keep all the Prep and Westbourne girls busy for an afternoon - and only a small proportion of those biscuits were actually ingested! 

The Palace, knowing what excellent scientists our girls are, wrote to us early in the Jubilee week asking a huge favour. The Queen wanted to know which biscuit was the superior biscuit to dunk in her morning cup of Earl Grey. We decided to tackle this important question after our Jubilee picnic and so our Jubilee Science Challenge began.

Kindergarten and Nursery girls embarked on the challenge with gusto. They decided to have a biscuit race waiting patiently for the biscuits to break. Squeals of laughter were heard as each biscuit took the plunge! Their hard work paid off and they were rewarded with a chocolate digestive biscuit each. It was declared that chocolate digestives are definitely the best biscuit despite not testing them!

Those in Reception took the time to predict which biscuit would take the longest to break. It was difficult not to choose their favourite biscuit but they eventually decided the thickest biscuit would most likely take the longest to break. Their prediction was correct with the Shortbread lasting up to five minutes and 20 seconds! The girls had never stared so hard at a biscuit for so long without eating it and thoroughly enjoyed screaming with delight when the biscuit fell into the tea!

A Year 3 girl commented that this activity was 'quite fun. I really liked it when we finally got to eat the biscuits! I was surprised by the result because I thought the Digestive would have been best but the Shortbread lasted the longest. We used the 'Mississippi counting method' to see how long the biscuits lasted in the tea. Unfortunately, our experiment wasn't exactly as I wanted it because we had normal tea and not Earl Grey which is the Queen's favourite tea. The most difficult part of the experiment was not eating the biscuits we were supposed to be dunking!'

Our KS2 girls found themselves in unfamiliar waters when they were asked to team with girls in different year groups in a mass experiment in Prep Hall. Once everyone had settled into their 'biscuit groups' the hall was abuzz with activity which spilled onto the terrace as we took full advantage of the excellent weather. Each team designed their own experiment; choosing which variables to change, measure and keep the same. Team leaders kept everyone on task, official timers manned the iPad stop-clock function while the biscuit masters ensured no one was sampling the goods! Results were recorded in custom designed tables and anomalous results (of which there were many!) were repeated. 

The visiting Senior School girls were a massive help; zooming around the hall, doling out biscuits for repeat experiments, mopping up spills and offering their technical knowhow. At the end of the session we shared our evaluations through Jamboard. The majority felt it was not fair to compare a sandwich biscuit such as a bourbon against single biscuits such as digestives. There was also much debate as to the best way to carry out the experiment with some backing the 'number of dunks' method while others were firmly Team 'time how long it takes to crack'. It was a great discussion and a fabulous outcome demonstrating the excellent investigative science skills our girls possess. 

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