Thursday, 16 October 2014

The forces of fun! New workshop teaches kids the physics behind park attractions



Teachers and their children were blown away by Professor Blast’s Learning Lab at a sneak peek of Paultons Park’s unique schools' science experience.

From swings to cogs, weights to wheels, elevation to electricity, they had the chance to get hands on with the science that makes the park run – before going out onto the rides to feel the force of physics in practice.

And they became techies for the day, bringing their own mini ride to life by the power of computer programming.

The industry professionals, heads of science and ICT, headteachers and their families from across Dorset and Hampshire were welcomed to the family attraction in Romsey over the weekend of September 6 and 7 to experience its new interactive workshops.

Professor Blast’s Learning Lab uses the physics behind the park’s attractions to bring science vividly to life for children and is exclusively available for schools and uniformed groups, such as Brownies and Cubs.

With the quirky professor and his research assistant, Peter Petri, overseeing the lab, kids love the exciting mix of UV lighting, bubbling test-tubes, smoke and special effects.

Paultons Park Education Officer, Andy Chapman, said: “It was so much fun for the teachers to see their own children buzzing with excitement when they were doing the activities – and now they can’t wait to come back with their pupils.

“We’re really proud to see Professor Blast’s Learning Lab in action and we’re looking forward to welcoming school groups. 

“What makes it such an exciting ‘edu-tainment’ experience is that children can learn all about the science behind our rides before going into the park to experience them in practice.” 

With the capacity to host 35 children and their leaders, Professor Blast’s hands-on Science Explorer workshop explores forces and energy transfers, allowing children to investigate the dynamics of the park’s attractions.

And the Ride Programming – Control IT workshop offers a new understanding of how rides are technically programmed. The workshop is designed to develop IT skills and provides children the chance to programme their very own motorised Sky Swinger.

Professor Blast's Learning Lab mainly targets key stage 1 and 2. It will be used as a base for a number of school trips and educational workshops, where children will be able to book the interactive lab for a session as part of their school visit.



About Paultons Park
Paultons Park has more than 60 theme park rides and attractions – including the world’s only Peppa Pig World – but education is an important part of its remit, which has earned the park a Learning Outside the Classroom quality badge.

The Park has this year been voted in the top five UK school trips destinations, alongside the National History Museum and Edinburgh Zoo, as voted for by the readers and subscribers of UKedchat magazine.

The amazing mix of rides, birds and animals provides plenty of stimuli for learning on a range of subjects with an experienced education team on hand to guide learners through a full day of curriculum-based workshops. 

A day at Paultons Park
10am: School groups arrive, parking in the large-free car park. Tickets are issued and students head into the park.

10:15am: Head into the park, under the supervision of accompanying teachers. Experience the rides, or visit the many species of birds and animals. Staff can download the free resources from the Paultons Park website to support learning, or use the time for recreational purposes.


11.00am: Attend a pre-booked workshop in Professor Blast’s Learning Lab. Let the education team lead a hands-on exploratory session in its fully-themed lab. All of the interactives are based on rides in the park, allowing clear scientific links to be made between the workstations and the rides. Worksheets are provided to further focus the learning.

12:00pm: Visit the penguins for an informative and fun talk on the Park’s collection of Humboldt penguins.

12:30pm: Lunch in one of its numerous undercover picnic areas.

1:30pm: Continue to explore the park, under the supervision of accompanying teachers. Experience the rides, or visit the many species of birds and animals. Staff can download the free resources from the Paultons Park website to support learning, or use the time for recreational purposes. Alternatively, book another workshop in Professor Blast’s Learning Lab.

Other workshops and presentations
The new Learning Lab activities complement existing schools workshops. In the Feel the Force workshop, children can tour the park to explore the forces acting on their bodies and how they affect the rides. 

For older students, Paultons run a range of presentations looking at different aspects of the business. Marketing covers the main techniques Paultons Park uses to attract customers, and who they market to. Students can also learn about customer service at the park, covering information about its customers, how Paultons meets their needs, measures their satisfaction and communicates with them.

And the Paultons Business Programme includes information on the history of Paultons, its mission statement and core values, management structure, stakeholders, functional areas and responsibilities, customer information, how it communicates with its guests and the marketing mix.

“With all the excitement of a theme park all around them, children love learning how we work – and, of course, they get to enjoy the rides as well,” said Andy Chapman.

“We’re passionate about education, which is why we don’t just offer exciting workshops and experiences for children, but also run inspirational teaching events, giving teachers creative ideas to ignite their pupils’ imaginations.”


Teachers are encouraged to book a pre-visit in advance of a trip, where Andy will give them a tour, answer all of their questions and show them the Learning Lab.

For more information, visit www.paultonspark.co.uk.  If you are a teacher or education blogger and would like to preview Professor Blast's Learning Lab at Paultons Park - please email education@paultons.co.uk

Press enquiries to:
Lisa Barry, Liz Lean PR, Tel: 01202 701828, E: lisab@lizleanpr.co.uk

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