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West Earlham Junior - Lunchbox Science : Water


Scientists, Dr Ruth Welters and Peter Fitt from the Agritech Water Cluster at the School of Environmental Sciences, UEA ran a session that focused on the importance of water in collaboration with writer Julia Webb and artist Chris Hann. The year 5 class at West Earlham Junior played a quiz to learn about water availability and then looked at water footprints of different foods, material products and processes, as well as thinking about their own water footprints.

Using a landscape model, the class observed how water is absorbed or runs off different types of land and learned how pollutants can make it into water courses. They did an activity to build water filters out of different materials, sand, grit etc to see how hard it can be to obtain ‘clean’ water.

Julia read a poem that she had written about water and the children suggested lots of words that could be used in a their own poems, taking lots of inspiration from the sounds that water can make which were being played in the classroom. Julia invited the children to use her method of writing words on slips of paper, putting them into an individual container and then drawing words out in turn to use in lines of their poem. This technique is great for getting started with poetry that can be edited later.

Chris set up five different art activities for the children to do that all used properties of water. There were melting ice cubes and colour pigments making unique patterns on blotting paper, spray bottles and colour powder used to make patterns like fireworks on large sheets of paper, black paper capturing clear nail varnish circles floating in water tanks, wax crayon and water-based paints to experiment with resistance and finally marbling polystyrene balls using oil-based inks in water tanks. It was a very fun but hectic session!