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St Michaels Junior - Lunchbox Science : Sugar


Scientist, Dr Mark Stevens helped design the project with Kevin Sawford and Francesca Broom from the British Beet Research Organisation who then worked with artist Lara A’Court and writer Tom Warner to deliver the sugar project with the year 5 class. Francesca and Kevin started by getting the children to taste raw cocoa nibs which were of course very bitter! The children were asked what we could use to make the cocoa sweet and this led onto the need for sugar. Some sugar beet plants in pots were passed round and a video about growing sugar beet from the ‘Farming is Magic’ collection was shown. The children learned about the different pesticides that were used to coat sugar beet seeds and then the class used microscopes to observe insect pests of sugar beet. 

They were challenged to guess how many beets could be grown in a square metre plot and learned how many plants were required for a single sachet of sugar, finding out how all the by-products of sugar beet were used for different purposes making it a ‘no waste’ crop. Finally the children set up sugar crystal growing experiments that they could watch develop over the coming days. Tom got the children to use similes and metaphors for writing poems and then the class worked on writing short poems that they performed at the end. For the art, Lara had made a treasure chest and the class had to design treasure maps and then make sugar crystal ‘jewels’ to go inside the chest.