Young scientists and teachers from Sherborne Girls in Dorset dipped their toes into an unusual area of science to celebrate National Science and Engineering Week – an experiment to find out if it is possible to walk on custard.
“Unlike water, custard is a non-Newtonian liquid so in theory we knew that it was possible to walk on a swimming pool of custard, and although we substituted custard for 30kg of cornflour mixed with water and a swimming pool for a paddling pool, the same principles still applied,” says Head of Physics, Katy Smith, who led her team of students in the experiment as part of the British Science Association’s Demo Day. “All the girls were great sports and showed the theory really does stand up to scrutiny.
“The idea of Demo Day was to get students across the UK involved in a wave of inspiring science demonstrations, and the girls wanted to try something that that was fun but also had a practical application and serious science behind it. Experiments like these are an excellent way to add context, enrichment and excitement to the science curriculum.”
Jenny Dwyer, Headmistress of Sherborne Girls, says, “Science is a very popular subject at Sherborne Girls and projects such as these are great for inspiring girls to consider careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths in the future. I am really proud that everyone got behind this national day of science and engineering and showed that science can be enjoyable as well as educational.”
In addition to the custard experiment, Demo Day also included Start the Day With a Bang! and the Eureka Great Egg Race, and the girls also presented on topics ranging from solar panels to sound insulation, and from water purification to automated engineering processes.
Head of Physics at Sherborne Girls, Katy Smith, with Year 7 students