Comets, Rosetta, Philae & 67P

This week has been amazing, by Heidi Pheasey (with help from Poppy Williams)

Heidi & spine

The week started off as normal with a Monday and Tuesday filled with maths, guided-reading, literacy and some fun art work with Mrs Malem, creating a beautiful Remembrance Day poppy picture for our class display.

Wednesday was extremely different! We had this insane assembly, where Mrs Ross came wearing a white science coat and carrying steaming, crackling dry ice. We watched some interesting videos about the comet chaser called Rosetta, its Philae Probe and the comet 67P. After that, Mrs Ross tried to make a comet of her own asking someone from the audience to help her make it. She got some water and poured it in to a plastic bag and then she added some sand and soil followed by 10 drops of Tabasco sauce (to represent organic matter). Mrs Ross then added the dry ice to all of the ingredients, which made it crackle and stick together. Lots of carbon dioxide came out like a gust of wind across your face. Once Mrs Ross pushed it all together, she finally released her hands, grabbed hold of the comet inside the plastic bag and revealed it to us all! Wow, what an exciting way to start the day…

After lunch Year 5 went outside and watched Mrs Ross launch bottles rockets with dry ice. First she poured some water in a small bottle, then put some dry ice in with it. She shook the bottle and gently placed it in the ground. Suddenly, the bottle exploded, flying really high. One of the bottles nearly hit Mrs Malem! Afterwards, we went back into our classroom, where Mrs Wiskow explained how astronauts grow taller in space because there is no gravity. Mrs Wiskow set us homework to measure how much our bodies shrink during the day, because gravity is pushing down on us all the time. We had to measure our height when we woke up and just before we go to sleep. I found all this information really exciting, so when I got home I rang my Dad and asked him if he had a model of a spine that I could borrow for school.

He did! So I took it to school the next day, everyone thought it was amazing (Jonny Hart from Year 4 thought it looked like dinosaur’s neck bones). We had a little lesson about it, Mrs Wiskow asked “Does anyone know how we shrink ?”, I put my hand up straight away, but wasn’t allowed to say the answer because she knew I would get it right.  In the end no one knew, so Mrs Wiskow asked me! In between the bones of the spine we have discs that are squashed during the day. I call the discs pillows because my Mum said they are like a pillow you sit on, when you get up they return back to size. Did you know it is like that with our discs when we sleep?


When I got home I asked my Mum how much we grow in space. She didn’t know, so she suggested she that as she is running the Out of This World project’s twitter account (@OotW_UK) she could use it to ask Tim Peake for our class. Here is his answer and my reply to him.

Did you know scientists use the symbol delta (Δ) to mean “change in”, so when my Mum wrote ‘Dheight’ in her tweet to Tim it was short for ‘change in height’? Also, 2 inches is the same as 5 centimetres, so if I am 138cm on earth now, I would be 143cm in space – tall enough for Alton Towers, yippee!


5 thoughts on “Comets, Rosetta, Philae & 67P

  1. Catherine Greaves

    Wow! Rode Heath School really are doing some amazing things! This interactive way of learning is superb and I look forward to each instalment of the blog. Well done and good luck to everyone involved with the project – it truly is Out of This World!


  2. Colette Conaty

    This looks like a fantastic opportunity, applying real life science! What an inspiration you all are, very well done to everyone.



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