Hundreds of Torbay Pupils Awed by ‘Wonderstruck’ Science Extravaganza

January 31, 2024 10:14am

In a spectacular showcase of scientific wonder, Brixham College, a proud member of The Thinking Schools Academy Trust, recently hosted the annual popular ‘Wonderstruck’ science event.

This three-day extravaganza not only welcomed more than 600 enthusiastic students from local primary schools but in the evenings also opened its doors to the general public. 

Wonderstruck looks at the history and science of rockets from the discovery of black powder to the most recent exploits of SpaceX and others. The show included a working hybrid rocket motor, a very large fireball and some incredibly loud noises.  

Children from several local primary schools from across the area came together for the event, including Furzeham Primary School, Kings Ash Academy and Curledge Street Academy which are also members of the Thinking Schools Academy Trust. 

Dedicated sixth form students studying A Level Physics at Brixham College Sixth Form also participated in the event, helping guide the younger children through a journey of exploration and discovery.  

The primary objective of Wonderstruck was to ignite the spark of curiosity in young minds. Year 5 students from various local primary schools had the opportunity to immerse themselves in hands-on experiments, captivating demonstrations and interactive workshops.  

One workshop on the day saw children build their own rocket, which was powered by compressed air. They use the same basic principles that send people to the moon, but instead use the power of air squeezed into a small space to create the combustion reaction. 

Year 5 pupils from Curledge Street Academy, said they had an amazing time at the event.   

They said: “It was brilliant - I enjoyed the explosives and fire - especially Brixhams most dangerous balloon. I liked when he tried to fly and there were flames. I didn’t know what gunpowder was before.  I didn’t know it was a solid”. 

The event also presented the opportunity to showcase other STEM subjects and make them relevant, fun, and exciting for all ages. 

Tom Norman, the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Lead at the college, said: “As a STEM teacher, organising this event and welcoming primary schools is truly rewarding. STEM education is about empowering young minds to think critically and solve problems. Witnessing their wide-eyed excitement during the captivating science not only showcased the wow factor of science but also planted the seed of enthusiasm, that I hope will blossom in their later years when joining secondary.  


“STEM is about igniting that spark early on, fostering a love for science that will endure and inspire future scientists. The success of this event goes beyond the experiments; it’s about nurturing a curiosity that will accompany them throughout their educational journey”.  

Mark Eagar, Principal at Brixham College, said: “Welcoming primary children into our halls provided a unique opportunity for our school community to come together. It is a celebration of collaboration, where we are reminded of the incredible strength that arises when we come together. Together, we are shaping a brighter future for all our students.”