Tots learn proper science in Eaton & Cringleford

Children’s brains are like sponges – soaking up information – and every child is a natural scientist, with an enquiring mind.

So says Dr Lucy Catto, known as Professor Lucy to the very young scientists who flock to her Mini-Professor sessions in Eaton and Cringleford.

In fact the two monthly Saturday sessions in Eaton have proved so popular that Lucy is introducing a third class for 2018.

Dressed in miniature laboratory coats and wearing protective goggles, children aged from two to five take part in real experiments, using proper equipment, and learn about everything from blood to polymers, chromatography, engineering, chemical reactions, bones and engineering.

“We don’t dumb down at all. If a child can say ‘Tyrannosaurus Rex’ they can say any scientific word we can give them,” said Lucy.

Experiments are conducted, with parents’ help, using chemicals and instruments such as pipettes, digital microscopes and stethoscopes. “A key part are the hands-on experiments.

“They are measuring, pouring – it’s brilliant for manual dexterity and fine motor skills,” said Lucy, who has a PhD in biochemistry and a background in research science.

“They learn socialisation and confidence, and it extends their powers of concentration which is excellent preparation for nursery.”

She is also aware that, as a female scientist, she is a positive role model for girls who accept from a very early age that science is not just a boys’ subject.

The national Mini Professors concept was developed by two scientist mums in Winchester who couldn’t find any science-based activities for their young children.

The 40-minute sessions must be pre-booked and are held in Eaton Park Community Centre on one Saturday a month at 9.45am, 10.45am and 11.50am – each aimed at a different age group.

They also take place in Cringleford Pavilion on Wednesdays at 11.30am and 1pm, and in Hayman Lodge, Old Catton, on Fridays at 10.30am and 11.30am.

For more information email Lucy at Norwich@miniprofessors.co.uk or ring 07793 817355 or visit www.miniprofessors.com/Norwich

Photos: STUART BEARD


 

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