PUPILS at a Yate school became virtual polar explorers for this week, courtesy of a new science scheme.

Abbotswood Primary are taking part in the Polar Explorer Programme, a new £1m government funded project, which aims to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.

The sessions saw students working with polar ambassador Jo Richardson.

In one of the fun activities, children took part in a 'blubber gloves' experiment, which involved timing how long pupils could hold their hands in ice water before and after covering them in butter. This was an interesting way of finding out about how blubber provides insulation for animals in the Antarctic.

Other activities included designing animals for the polar region, designing a boat, which could float and hold passengers, and trying on a diving suit.

The project is using the UK’s new polar research ship, the RRS Sir David Attenborough, and it’s sub – Boaty McBoatface to bring an exciting new context to the teaching of STEM subjects, placing relevant curriculum topics within the context of both the construction and launch of the ship, and of polar exploration in general.

For the full story see next week's Gazette.