We have been incredibly lucky this academic year in Science. Through collaboratively working with the Earthbound project (www.earthbound project.co.uk) in Wirksworth, the National History Museum in London and Longcliffe Quarry, we hosted a scanning electron microscope (SEM) for nearly three weeks.
We made the most of this opportunity in Science and linked with the Art department to bring the Earthbound Project to Anthony Gell School. Alex Hyde and Kate Bellis, both local artists, ran sessions in Science to bring the story of the hidden layers beneath out feet, including the organisms and rocks that support us all. Several groups from KS3 to KS5 took part in the Earthbound sessions during Science lessons. Sally Matthews visited the Art department to focus on the skill of sculpturing and encapsulated the Earthbound project in the work that students produced. Every science class from Year 7 to 11, had a teacher session in which all students were given the opportunity to use the electron microscope. Drop-in sessions at lunches and breaks were used by students, to use the SEM and bring in their own samples to view. We have seen magnified dust mites, teeth, the head of a wasp, crystals, ticks, feathers and much more during the time we have had access to the SEM.
One Year 13 A-Level Chemistry student, who had recently synthesised aspirin, used this as a chance to look at the crystals he had produced. We cannot express the gratitude we feel for having had this opportunity and the enjoyment that so many students experienced. However, several students summed up our feelings nicely in these quotes.