News & Events
Student activity as part of Science & Engineering week
9th March 2012
By Tom Young
During National Science and Engineering Week (9th-18th March) I visited Broadoak Primary School in East Didsbury, Manchester to introduce and give a demonstration to Year 5 pupils on the benefits of green roofs and to allow the children to be budding scientists for the day (lab coat included).
The children were first shown a mat of sedum plants that is commonly used on green roofs and had a discussion as to why Sedum’s in particular are so suited to the dry and nutrient poor conditions often found on green roofs. Using a bespoke mini green roof module the difference in runoff between a normal roof and a green roof from a simulated rainfall event (a watering can) was measured. The children observed that green roofs can slow and reduce the amount of runoff from a rainfall event, although as the green roof becomes saturated this effect is reduced. The children completed a scientific write up afterwards explaining the other multiple benefits of a green roof, the methods and the results of the experiment.
Despite receiving countless abuse from the children for being an Aston Villa fan, I found the whole event extremely worthwhile and rewarding and would recommend other Post Graduate Students to engage with schools who are usually very grateful for the chance of a ‘real scientist’ to visit the school. The experience also made me panic about life after a PhD when one girl asked me, “what I wanted to be when I was older?”, apparently being scientist isn’t a proper job.