Block 3 get creative for Atomic Models Project

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By Olly Hoult, Teacher of Chemistry

This week the Chemistry Department instructed Block 3 to construct models an atom and an ion as part of the Atomic Structure and the Periodic Table topic. What makes Chemistry such a challenging subject is that it involves studying a broad range of abstract concepts. Learning about atoms and ions is an example of this.

The building blocks of the universe are so small they are almost impossible to visualise. Therefore scientists use models to help conceptualise the mysterious quantum world. The model of the atom is ever evolving as scientists produce new experiments which question previously accepted theory. We believe model building is a necessary tool in science teaching as it gives students a more authentic experience of the scientific process while as teachers it gives a more detailed insight into what students have learned from this topic. In these challenging times of remote learning we also felt the task was useful as an exercise to get students off their screens and really let their creativity take over.

Joel Edgeworth has this to say about his model: “For my atomic model project I made a neutral neon atom and a positively charge Sodium ion. For my project I used pizza boxes and the stands which the pizzas are held on. I made two models for each particle, the nucleus and the electronic configuration, and I used a tea grain to show the relative size of a nucleus in proportion to the rest of the atom / ion.”

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How effective are travel restrictions in stopping the spread of COVID-19?

By Yaya Caird, 6.2

Right now, more than 90% of the world’s population are living under travel restrictions. These restrictions have heavily affected people’s lives financially, socially and mentally.

So, is the travel ban actually effective in stopping, or at least reducing the spread of COVID-19?

Travel bans range from restricting movement within the country or travelling internationally.

When the severity of COVID-19 was first globally known after its first death on the 10th of January, there were already 41 clinically confirmed conditions reported.

By the 22nd of January there was 571 confirmed cases and 17 deaths reported, with cases already reported in other countries (such as Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, and the United States, shown in the image below)

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At 2am the next day, the Wuhan authorities issued a notice of the travel ban that would be set at 10am. However, before 10:00 an estimated 300,000 people had left Wuhan – this figure was fuelled by the wishes of the population to be with their families for the Chinese New Year happening 2 days later. Within a day after this lockdown was set, 24 other cities in the vicinity of Wuhan also went into lockdown.

Although the travel ban didn’t manage to contain all people within the city, it definitely played a very important role in decreasing the rate of the spread drastically.

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