Pupils take a trip to Mars – with a jigsaw

Pupils from the Duke's Middle School in Alnwick get up close to some critters.
Pupils from the Duke's Middle School in Alnwick get up close to some critters.

Pupils journeyed to Mars, learnt how to freeze a banana and came face -to-face with a deadly spider when science came to school.

The Duke’s Middle School in Alnwick played host to a range of experts during its science week.

Pupils from the Duke's Middle School in Alnwick get up close to some critters.

Pupils from the Duke's Middle School in Alnwick get up close to some critters.

Parents talked to the children about their jobs and the role science plays in them. Mrs Carragher took along some equipment from the veterinary practice where she works and Professor Wilkes spoke about how he became a GP and told them about a number of research projects in which he is involved.

Pupils were also visited by a number of outside speakers. Two engineers from EDF Energy told them how nuclear energy is made and its role in modern-day energy manufacture. Bruce McGrath worked with Years 7 and 8 in a workshop about the science of fast cars while Steve Shaw explained how the immune system can be used to treat cancer.

Ben Haddon led a workshop about going on a journey to Mars with Years 6 and 7, during which they made some solar-powered space buggies and found out what it was like to carry out normal activities wearing a spacesuit by completing a jigsaw while wearing thick gloves.

The Newcastle University street science team showed Key Stage 3 some experiments using everyday items from home and Mike Drinnin completed a physiological measurements workshop with all the pupils.

Pupils from the Duke's Middle School in Alnwick get up close to some critters.

Pupils from the Duke's Middle School in Alnwick get up close to some critters.

Professor Brainstorm was a huge hit with Years 5 and 6. During his workshop, he used liquid nitrogen to freeze a banana and balanced a blown up balloon on a bed of nails without popping it.

For many of the youngsters, the highlight of the week was a visit from Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens.

All the pupils were introduced to some bearded dragons, two corn snakes, a tarantuala, a tenrec, two tortoises and some cockroaches. They were told how the animals’ features help them to survive.

Pupils from the Duke's Middle School in Alnwick get up close to some critters.

Pupils from the Duke's Middle School in Alnwick get up close to some critters.