Mike causes a buzz

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Will Ack­er­mann will.ack­er­mann@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

IN THE clas­sic hor­ror film The Fly, a mad sci­en­tist turns into a hu­manin­sect hy­brid when an ex­per­i­ment goes hor­ri­bly wrong.

But pupils from schools across Hilling­don met an al­to­gether friend­lier winged man dur­ing a sci­ence work­shop.

Au­thor Mike Barfield got chil­dren buzzing at Col­ham Manor Pri­mary School, in Uxbridge, by dress­ing as a gi­ant fly.

The event was also at­tended by pupils from Hilling­don Pri­mary School, in Uxbridge Road, Hilling­don, as well as Rabb­s­farm Pri­mary School, in Gor­don Road, Yiewsley, and Charville Pri­mary School, in Bury Av­enue, Hayes.

Th writer, who has pub­lished a book en­ti­tled SWAT! A Fly’s Guide to Stay­ing Alive, told the years one and two pupils how sci­en­tists iden­tify and study in­sects. The chil­dren also got the chance to ex­am­ine mod­els of dif­fer­ent in­sect species, make their own mod­els of flies, and sing songs to help them learn in­sect body parts.

Ja­son Stainer, as­sis­tant head teacher for in­clu­sion at the school in Vi­o­let Av­enue, said the day was a ‘huge suc­cess’.

He added: “The chil­dren were cap­ti­vated by all the ac­tiv­i­ties and par­tic­u­larly fas­ci­nated by the ‘hu­man-sized fly’, which re­ally brought to life their un­der­stand­ing of in­sects, es­pe­cially when Mike demon­strated how if he was a fly he would check out food with his feet as this is where his taste buds would be.”

The school de­cided to hold its first Able Sci­ence Day, work­ing with the company Au­thors Abroad, after the suc­cess of sim­i­lar events for maths and English.

Mr Stainer said: “It pro­vides a uniquely valu­able op­por­tu­nity for the most able pupils to work to­gether with other able pupils from a range of schools.

“The chil­dren al­ways leave the events in­spired and chal­lenged.”

n FLY­ING VISIT: Mike Barfield with Col­ham Manor pupils

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