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From Experiment to Discovery – science clubs gather to compare findings

Second Years from Tonbridge hosted other science clubs from local schools to discuss their investigations into the extraordinary behaviour of the classic slinky spring toy.  

Back in January, the various clubs had been given the challenge of investigating the ‘slinky drop’. This phenomenon involves a slinky suspended vertically before being dropped, after which the bottom of the spring appears to defy gravity as it hovers in mid-air. 

Schools attending the session in the Barton Science Centre on Thursday 19 May included Judd, Weald of Kent and Tonbridge Grammar School.  

Students filmed plenty of experiments on high-speed cameras, and then analysed their footage using tracker software familiar to golf enthusiasts keen to improve their swing.

They spent time together as they tried to find scientific explanations for the actions of the slinky: there were even scribbles on the whiteboards (as pictured) that would grace the office walls of any self-respecting theoretical physicist.  

Nick Waite, Physics Teacher, said: “After this inaugural gathering, the science clubs decided to meet regularly to discuss other similar phenomenon. There was a great spirit of discovery and collaboration, and we look forward to hosting further discussion groups in the months ahead.”