Physics and Chemistry Trip to St Paul's Boys School

Our experience at St Pauls School for boys - By Ayah Sadik 10F and Melina Farahani 10W

We went for a Physics and Chemistry trip to St Paul’s school for boys. We learnt about the topics that are going to appear on the A-level course and it gave us an insight to what Physics A-level is like. The teacher asked us about our interest in material science and the he talked about Young’s Modulus. We did an experiment similar to Hooke’s law but it was a rather different. There were eight of us in total but four from our school.

We had a wire on a table and had a meter ruler to measure the distance it moved when adding mass.It took 3kg to snap the wire and we drew a table to record the measurements and had to calculate the strain and the stress. We worked out the stress (using the formula F/a) and the strain (using the formula delta x/ x).

There were five sixth formers, who were there to help.

Next, they told us about their articles and if we had any ideas to do a little work and come to use their electric microscope.

Then they started to hand butterfly wings around that had amazing colours and designs. Then they showed us images of the wire ends when snapped from the previous practical, on one of the TVs under an electric microscope. We made a glass fibre by melting glass; they showed us a large number of glass fibres that had a blob at the end of each of them.

Next, we swapped teachers and went with the teacher who went to Twyford sixth form and he showed us how to use the electric microscope and told us how it worked. It worked like a vacuum that takes the electrons away as it would interfere with the image.

He showed us different pictures of butterfly wings and leaves and end of wires that had snapped. Afterwards, we all went to the lab again. One of the main messages of today was how out of an easy experiment, a complex explanation came out.

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