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Hundreds of pupils in Britain's biggest science lesson

The Disovery Park at Sandwich - the former site of the drugs company Pfizer - was taken over by hundreds of primary school children this week for Britain's biggest ever science lesson.

Hands-on experiments included extraction of DNA from fruit, murder-mystery forensic tests, and the creation of a witch's cauldron. Nashreen Issa sent this report from the East Kent Science Jamboree.

Experiments and forensic tests for budding scientists

Budding scientists from Students from Upton Junior school in Broadstairs Credit: ITV Meridian

Around 2000 school children from across Kent will be taking part in a science jamboree at Discovery Park in Sandwich.

The young, budding scientists will be getting involved with experiments, forensics test and identifying Kent seashore wildlife.

Kids get moving whilst learning about measuring heart rates Credit: ITV Meridian

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Solar winds increase lightning strikes say scientists

Researchers in the Department of Meterology believe they have discovered new evidence to suggest lightning is triggered not only by cosmic rays from space, as has previously been thought, but also by energetic particles from the Sun.

The Berkshire scientists found a link between increased thunderstorm activity and streams of high-energy particles accelerated by the solar wind, suggesting that particles from space help trigger lightning bolts.

After the arrival of a solar wind at the Earth, the researchers showed there was an average of 422 lightning strikes across the UK in the following 40 days, compared to an average of 321 lightning strikes in the 40 days prior the arrival of the solar wind.

The rate of lightning strikes peaked between 12 and 18 days after the arrival of the solar wind.

Contest to name Sussex-born astronaut's space mission

The British astronaut Major Tim Peake is to fly on a mission to the International Space Station in 2015. The European Space Agency (ESA) have launched a competition to find a name for the mission. The astronaut was born in Chichester in Sussex.

  1. David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

Encouraging kids to consider science

Take a tin of spaghetti, a box of bees and a smoothie-maker and what have you got? In one part of the south east, a recipe for a fascinating science lesson! A science fair, at the old Pfizer site in Sandwich, was put on to attract youngsters to the worlds of technology and maths.

David Johns donned his lab coat and went along to take a look. He spoke to scientist Robert Wybrow, engineer Victoria Roots, Kent County Councillor Mark Dance (Con), and Discovery Park MD Paul Barber.

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Competition to find new generation of engineers

Over two-hundred primary schools in Oxfordshire have the opportunity to take part in a competition to find the next generation of scientists and engineers.

The Engineering Explorers Competition is being launched to boost science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills in the UK.

Babcock Education and Science Oxford have joined forces to encourage children and young people to get involved in science.

The competition will see children working in teams and thinking like engineers to design and build their own working-model crane.

Amanda Fisher, Director of Education at Babcock said, "Our ground breaking partnership with Science Oxford promises to inspire, generate and drive young minds towards the array of opportunities that STEM issues offer.”

  1. David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

Images from space

A science project organised by a school in Kent has reached new heights. Sevenoaks School holds a "science week" each year and this time they sent cameras up to the edge of space on a weather ballon - and despite a hiccup over Belgium, have brought back some amazing images.

David Johns explains, talking to physics teacher Elizabeth Harper-Clark, and Head of Science Graeme Lawrie.

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