Learning outside the classroom: Spring 2019

4 April 2019

Outside the Cliffden Hotel, Teignmouth

WESC Foundation students from two classes took part in several off-site visits in the Spring term 2019.

William and Ethan visited Plymouth’s National Marine Aquarium as part of National Science Week. As well as taking in the different public exhibitions and displays, there were also chances to have a go at their own science experiments under the guidance of Aquarium staff.

A large group of students took a trip to their local fire station at Middlemoor, on the outskirts of Exeter. Part of Devon & Somerset Fire and Rescue Service’s network of stations, it covers the east of the city of Exeter including WESC Foundation’s Topsham Road campus. They met some of the firefighters, and tried on some of the uniforms and protective clothing they wear to carry out their duties. There was also a chance to see one of the firefighters slide down the pole, and have a go at using a thermal imaging camera. The crew received a call-out during the trip, so the young people got to see how they responded to a real emergency.

Finally, there was a visit to the Cliffden Hotel in Teignmouth, which until 2018 was run by the charity Action for Blind People, and specialised in holidays for people with sight loss. The class were able to look around the hotel and its impressive grounds.

George visited the fire station

“I really like the visit as it was really good, and it was the first time I visited a fire station. They explained everything they had to do when there is a call-out. They have to go very quickly and wear special suits, and if upstairs when the call comes in they have to slide down the pole.”

William enjoyed the trip to the National Marine Aquarium

When we arrived we met Stu our guide. We planned some experiments but first we got to have a look around the aquarium exhibitions. We learnt about different species of fish and about sea grass which is where baby fish like to live. After lunch we learnt about the water cycle and how water gets cleaned running through rocks. We then measured the amount of salt in tap water using a refractometer. Then we ran the water over salt rocks and measured it again to see the increase in salt. Our next experiment was electrolysis, which splitting water into its two gases, hydrogen and oxygen. We used a battery, drawing pins and test tubes to do this. Finally Stu exploded a hydrogen-filled balloon. It made a very loud bang and a big fireball. I really enjoyed the whole day and learnt lots of new things

One student loved the Cliffden Hotel

It’s the poshest hotel I’ve ever been in!

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