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Cirencester Deer Park School

Cirencester Deer Park School

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Science in Focus

This week is our Science Faculty in Focus and we ask, what is astronaut Tim Peake actually doing in space? 

Tim Peake thumbs up - December 2015 copyright ESA/NASA

Major Tim Peake has been in space since 15 December 2015, but what has he been doing to occupy his time at the International Space Station (ISS)?  He has been involved in many scientific experiments, many of which are used to understand the effects of weightlessness on the human body.

Major Peake will be carefully measuring his food intake and drinking radioactive water to help scientists to work out how much he is respiring (using his energy reserves).  He has also been taking muscle biopsies (cutting out small pieces of his muscles for scientists to analyse changes due to weightlessness.

Space travel affects the skin and water movement throughout the body.  These can cause some very unpleasant side-effects including sickness, headaches and disturbed vision.  Major Peake will be filling in detailed questionnaires on his health throughout his time in space.

There is also a science lab in the space station.  Tim Peake will be heating and cooling new materials to see how they respond to their weightless environment.  He will also be responsible for testing remote-controlled objects that might be used on other planets.

You can find more information about Tim Peake and his work below:


Key Stage 3 pupils have been challenged to discover something new in assemblies this week by our mobile Science team. We carried out various different experiments to show how new substances can be made. It was packed full of exciting experiments, some explosive and others just totally awesome! Pupils in Years 7-9 are encouraged to take part in our competition by making a poster, leaflet or factfile that explains the science behind one of the experiments they watched in our assemblies. Please hand in your entries to your science teacher by Friday 11 March. There is a prize in each year group for the winning poster. We look forward to seeing your entries. Thank you for your enthusiasm Key Stage 3, it is what makes teaching at Deer Park so much fun.‚Äč

ks3 science assembly

I was very impressed by Mrs Sarna’s assembly and our pupils definitely appreciated the big bangs, colour changing liquids and elephants’ toothpaste! She talked about reactions and, with the support of our senior technician, illustrated this with some exciting experiments. I hope our pupils will respond to the challenge our Science team have set and that they will enter the poster competition and show us their understanding of what was taking place on stage!

Ms Henson, Headteacher

"I LOVED Mrs Sarna’s assembly. I thought it was really cool to see all the experiments. I am really looking forward to finding out how they work." Cara (Year 8)

"Mrs Sarna was very clear on how the demonstrations were done and if it went wrong she carried on and didn’t panic. I learnt a lot from it." Jack (Year 8)

"I think the assembly was fantastic and I really, really enjoyed it. I like the making of the elephant toothpaste." Kenneth (Year 8)

"I really liked it and all the experiments. My favourite one was when Mrs Sarna changed wine into water." Faith (Year 8)

In advance of International Women's Day on 8 March, assemblies for Key Stage 4 looked at the career and influence of Marie Curie, one of the most famous female scientists to date. Marie Curie was the first woman to win a Nobel prize, the first person to win two Nobel Prizes, the only woman to win in two fields, and the only person to win in multiple sciences. 

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