Running session two was a blast! The kids absolutely loved getting their hands dirty … and they got very dirty.
The hour was a bit chaotic, but having an adult helper for each group of kids kept things under control. The children were split into groups of 3 which worked perfectly as each child got plenty of hands-on time. They loved having the boxes with their reagents in falcon tubes and couldn’t get enough of the gloves. Some even put a (clean) glove in their lab notebooks as a keepsake to show they’d done “real science”! Even though it went well, we learned a lot from the first run of session 2. The scientists-in-training changed their gloves an average of 3 times, so we were thankful that we brought plenty. We were also happy that we had covered the table tops with an extra towel, as this made clean-up very easy.
We never would have guessed that the kids would be so adamant about tasting their finished product. They requested that we use something edible in place of sequins (for the microbes) next time so that they could eat the poo! Most of them took it home. The most challenging part of this session was focusing the attention of a group of year 4 and 5 students while they were playing with edible poo. It was much more difficult than the previous week. We found that having a stopping point after each step in the protocol and asking them to answer a question helped with this. Overall, it was a great session; we all had so much fun and we can’t wait to do it again!