The small things in life...

4th December 2014

We know that everything is made of these particles we call atoms, and that these particles are so small that we cannot see them even with the strongest microscope. But coming to terms with the fact that everything in the whole universe is made up of just around one hundred different kinds of these atoms joined up with each other in different ways, just like different letters join up to make all the words in our language, well that’s a pretty big idea!!

Year 8 have been learning that in order to recycle different materials, you first have to understand what those materials are made of.  We visited the recycling centre in Newton Abbot and got a close up, hands-on feel into how materials are recycled. This included some instruction on how knowing about the properties of metals (magnetic or not) can help in the sorting process and some mind boggling recycling statistics.

After seeing how glass is sorted for recycling in Newton Abbot, we moved on to Ourglass, a small company producing glassware at Cockington in Torquay.  Here we learned a tremendous amount about how recycled glass can be used and how an understanding of chemistry can help us create the amazing colours that can make decorative glassware so attractive.  Lee, Mark and Trish at ‘Ourglass’ have to be thanked for giving up so much of their time and congratulated for making their demonstration of glass blowing and introduction to ‘glass chemistry’ so accessible to our pupils.

Experiencing how science works in the real world can really helps us to understand the ‘big ideas’ in science.