Sci-Fest returned to CRGS

Posted On: 03/03/22

Explosions, maths puzzles, robots, and a T-Rex wowed visitors as Sci-Fest 2022 returned to CRGS. 

The school welcomed over 2,500 visitors on the day, and great fun was had by all as they explored the wonders of science via a wide range of workshops run by both CRGS pupils and external providers.  Year 12 pupils designed puzzles of varying difficulty including an escape room which was particularly busy as young visitors worked out multiple puzzles to earn a prize. Others worked out puzzles to learn a code that opened a safe box or used their detective skills to decipher a word using magic writing.  


Evelyne (Y12) and team encouraged visitors to try the art of origami; and Rory, Georgia and Christine (Y12) encouraged visitors to dress up for the ‘photobooth’ dressed in test tube-shaped costumes they’d designed.  This enthusiastic team also organised and curated the Science & Photography Competition which was a great success and included entries from children as young as 5 years old on a wide range of science-inspired topics.  There was something for everyone with remote-control race cars and a huge blow up “twister” hosted in the Sixth Form common room, audience participation in the ‘Silly Science’ show, and Nerf guns in the car park.  Technology was very busy with Lego Club taking so many orders for their personalised Lego-piece key-rings that they had to close their order books; and the remote-controlled Lego rover competition proved highly competitive amongst visitors and pupils alike.


Among the many other highlights of the day was the chance to meet Sophie the dinosaur, a 7-year old T-Rex, with queues of inquisitive children very keen to see her teeth and stroke her head.  Mini Monsters proved a huge hit with lots of hesitant glances from the visitors who were able to meet various reptiles and creepy crawlies including a tarantula and bearded dragon.  Two planetariums gave visitors the opportunity to learn about the night sky and the world of dinosaurs and were very busy through-out the day, and there was the chance to travel in space via Virtual Reality headsets. 


Colchester Zoo’s Wildlife Ranger set various challenges for visitors including handling alligator and snake skin to analyse the difference, looking closely at animal skulls, and feeling the texture of and looking closely at the shape of a range of tortoise shells to identify male and female.  The University of Essex supported the day with their Math department designing brilliant puzzles; two PhD students demonstrating two robots to highlight the university’s fantastic Computer Science faculty, and the Psychology department brought their ‘Baby Lab’ to introduce visitors to the various tasks they use to study the development of perceptual and cognitive abilities in infants and children.


Sci-Fest organiser Michelle Russell, said “It was fantastic for the school to host Sci-Fest again and welcome so many people back on site.  From origami to the escape room, from Lego and robots to the planetarium and the T-Rex, it could not happen without the support of the science, tech and support staff and the many pupils who helped to design, make, and run the brilliant and varied activities through-out the day. Thank you to everyone who offered their help, their support and a particular thank you to the Year 12 Sci-Fest group.”