Trips and expeditions

23 February 2023

Big Schools’ Birdwatch at RAL

SHSK School

Year 6 visited the RAL to participate in the RSPB’s Big School’s Birdwatch event, a science project for schools across the UK. One of the students taking part has given an account of the trip below.

As soon as we entered the doors of Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL), we all knew that this would be an amazing trip!

We had a brief introduction and a virtual tour of the laboratory first and then we headed to the workshops. There were two workshops, so we were separated into two groups.

The workshops were both based on birds, as we went to RAL mostly because of the Big Schools’ Birdwatch. One workshop was making bird kites. Many of us made starlings, pigeons and so on. The other workshop was about bird feathers, we were identifying them with digital microscopes. We also learnt some facts, like how a polar bear’s fur isn’t actually white but black!

After a quick lunch we had our final workshop. This one was all of Year 6 as one group. The workshop was about coding with micro:bits. You were put into pairs and you would have one micro:bit each. What would happen is that one person from the pair would go around the room and find birds (not actual birds but pictures) and send a code to the other person. That person would be the receiver. We used micro:bits because if 24 of us were shouting across the room the receiver would be unable to hear and if you were doing an actual birdwatch you would scare the birds away by shouting.

RAL was an amazing experience, and we would love to visit there again!

Eddie, Year 6

SHSK School

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