A Song of Ice and Fire

On Tuesday 25th November over 300 pupils from local primary schools joined us at Tavistock College to watch an exciting and engaging show called ‘Fire and Ice’ presented by the Science department.

Mr Smith and Mr Allen gave pupils the chance to see first-hand what happens when you cool a banana to -196 degrees Celsius and at what speed you can launch a methane rocket.

The show consisted of 2 parts: ice and fire. Pupils were shocked and excited to see a range of experiments which used liquid nitrogen, a very cold chemical, to freeze flowers, tennis balls and rubber – they could then be shattered with a hammer! Pupils even had the chance to eat quick-frozen ice cream: chocolate milk mixed with the liquid nitrogen.

The liquid nitrogen boiled at room temperature, giving the stage and audience a spooky feel.

Then came the fire – Mr Smith demonstrated what happens when metals burn in oxygen and this was followed with demonstrations of burning ethanol, coloured metal solutions and the Thermit reaction – so hot it can melt through cars!

Just when the audience thought they had seen enough, the duo went on to burn sweets – making jelly babies scream and angel delight fireballs!

The finale of the show was the most shocking and loud! Pupils made sure they covered their ears as Mr Smith lit balloons filled with hydrogen – a very explosive gas, followed with the pair firing rockets filled with methane.

By the end of the show all pupils were in agreement that they had had a great time, but also learnt some things about Science and reactions. Here’s to another great show next year!