It was our intention to hold a 2 hour event to demonstrate safe, simple, science experiments around forces and energy and how science works which is fun and informative for both adults and children. It was delivered to up to 25 playworkers from Out of School Childcare Clubs from across South East Wales.
To hold a 2 hour playworker event at Greenmeadow Farm, Cwmbran
To demonstrate simple science experiments that could be replicated in clubs
To collect feedback from playworkers following the science experiment activities in their clubs
Summary of activity:
Simple science experiments were demonstrated via a 2 hour workshop at Greenmeadow Community Farm on 18th September 2014 to 20 playworkers aged 18-65 years. The playworkers participated in the experiments based around gravity, centripetal force, velocity, lift, friction and weight to enable them to replicate the experiments in their clubs.
The project evaluation was divided into two sections, a questionnaire for playworkers and an activity recording sheet to obtain feedback regarding the experiments, enjoyment, difficulties encountered and request for more.
What went well:
1.participants came with an open mind and engaged with the experiments making it a fun workshop
2.the majority of people would implement the experiments in their clubs
3.the simple experiments most appealed to the playworkers which indicated they were most likely to be taken back into the clubs
What was learned:
1.it is important to allocate sufficient time to set up the experiments – even though a number had been pre-prepared some of the others took a little longer than anticipated
2.Getting clubs to complete the experiment activity record card after they had done the experiments in the club was difficult and took extra time following up
3.It is important to think about age when developing activities as childrens manual dexterity was a factor in the success of some of the experiments although age appropriate suggestions were given at the playworker event. The club overcame this by substituting a folded paper basket with a plastic cup for the parachute experiment
Top tips and advice for others
1.For anyone planning a similar project don’t try to do too much in the time allocated to ensure everyone has a chance to observe, participate and ask questions – it is better to reduce the number of experiments.
2.Plan for the target audience so take into account the age ranges and have suggestions ready for adapting to suit older/younger participants as relevant.