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National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) is encouraging nurseries across the UK to stage a mass fizzy rocket launch for British Science Week.
Under fives will be encouraged to switch their minds on to science on 14 March when nurseries count down to watch their homemade rockets soar into the sky, as part of the first British Science Week activity targeted specifically at early years children.
Children will be able to decorate vitamin tablet tubes with their chosen rocket design before filling a third of the empty tube with water, dropping one of the effervescent tablets in, standing the tube on its lid and watching it shoot into the sky.
Purnima Tanuku, chief executive of NDNA which organised the mass rocket launch in conjunction with the British Science Association, said: “We’ve found that children love performing this experiment and learning about how carbon dioxide is released when the tablet reacts with the water, building up the air pressure until the tube bursts open.
“Nurseries can extend the fun by encouraging the children to decorate the tubes with their rocket designs and try out different temperatures of water and numbers of tablets.
“Nurseries are uniquely placed to support children to discover science through play so they are engaged and motivated to learn and think critically for themselves.”
British Science Week will take place between 10 and 19 March and is organised by the British Science Association (BSA), a registered charity that aims to encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to engage with science.
Maria Rossini, head of education at the BSA, said the association was “really excited” to be taking part in its first early years event on such a large scale.
“Thanks to our collaboration with NDNA, this is the first year we have had a specific focus on early years groups in British Science Week,” she said.
“We’re really excited to be coordinating a mass-participation flagship event of this scale with nurseries across the UK, and are looking forward to engaging children, parents and practitioners throughout the day and making science more accessible for early years.
“NDNA has been a really valuable partner in helping us develop activities for our very first early years activity pack. We can’t wait to see all the excitement generated when children launch their rockets!”
A risk assessment and trial run of the experiment should be completed beforehand, and nurseries across the UK are encouraged to share their photos and videos of their experiment on social media using the hashtag #NDNAMassBlastOff.