CRAVEN primary school children took part in an exciting science and technology event centred around the theme of ‘Polar explorers’ at Skipton Academy.

Jointly organised by the academy school and Skipton Girls High School, hundreds of children took part over two days in the event aimed at expanding the students knowledge of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects.

Day one saw about 130 year fives from Embsay, Parish, Water Street, St Stephen’s and Christchurch primary schools, while the second day saw a similar number of year six pupils from Cracoe, Grassington and Greatwood primary schools.

The children were set a series of activities linked to the Polar Explorer Programme, which uses as its springboard the research vessel, the RSS Sir David Attenborough, and its long range submersible, Boaty McBoatface.

They were greeted by Jenn Plews, chief officer of Northern Star Academies Trust, before they were handed over to teachers from both schools who guided them through a variety of practical activities, including the testing of the alkalinity of different waters and watching sea shells magically disappear when they were submerged in ethanoic acid (white vinegar).

One of the most popular sessions was run by high school teacher, Rebecca Lofthouse, working alongside brothers and IT technicians Jack Beck, at the high school, and Ryan, from the academy, with the children learning how to debug a programme and correct the code needed to control a submarine before moving on to make their own controllers using Playdough.

Their days finished with headteachers and parents at a celebration event with certificates and prizes.

The academy’s head of science, Jo Timpson, said: “It was fantastic to see the enthusiasm for science displayed throughout the day. They were excited, keen to complete the practicals and were real science investigators.”

Richard McManus, principal of Skipton Academy, said it was wonderful to see the young people enjoying inspirational learning.

“It goes to show that collaboration between all the schools in Skipton is a powerful way to enhance the learning and life experiences of young people. Real life applications of STEM are wonderful opportunities for the year 5 students to study some incredible science. I was hugely grateful to colleagues from all the primary schools who helped make the day so amazing and the collaboration with the high school, whose staff worked closely with ours to make the day so special.”