16 May 2018
Four Infineum UK Ltd colleagues recently visited Hailey primary school in Oxfordshire to deliver a morning of outreach activities as part of Oxford science week. The aim of the visit was to inspire and encourage children aged three to eleven to think about science and hopefully influence them into the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects in their future. Rich Bertram, Infineum Technology Manager Lubrication Science, and placement students Georgia Miskelly, Hannah Taylor and Emma Coulthurst jointly ran four sessions each lasting half an hour.
The sessions began with a short introduction about how each colleague got inspired to work in science. This was followed with an introduction to Infineum and the role Infineum has in keeping engine parts clean. The children were asked what they kept clean at home to which a variety of answers were given including ‘my bedroom and the living room!’.
The next twenty minutes were occupied by three hands-on activities; elephant’s toothpaste, superhero oregano and soap boats:
Four volunteers were equipped with gloves and safety goggles and had to add yeast, washing up liquid, food colouring and hydrogen peroxide into a conical flask. This created a foam toothpaste-like eruption!
For the oregano experiment paper plates were covered in water with oregano sprinkled on top. Leading with a superhero theme, the volunteers got to try their superpowers and place their finger in the center of the oregano plate. Initially nothing happened however given the magic super hero juice (washing up liquid) they all placed the finger in the centre of the plate and the oregano immediately parted to the sides.
The star of the show was the foam boat experiment. Small groups of children were given a boat, cotton bud and chose one out of the four soaps. After placing a little of their chosen soap on their boat, in trays of water they got the opportunity to race them. An Infineum colleague at each water tray demonstrated a boat without soap and discussed the science behind what was happening. The competitive element was a huge success and the hands-on nature and visual effect made it fun and engaging.
Overall the day was filled with fun and each of the activities sparked excitement and enthusiasm for science among the children. It was a great time to allow them to explore science in a practical way and introduce to them simple experiments they could try out at home.