Arts, Community and Science Challenges

Each week, the KS3 timetable recommends some of the activities below – Arts to stimulate the soul during testing times; and Community projects to connect students to those around them, drawing us together in a national effort! Enjoy – and why not share your work with us by Tweeting us – @COREArenaAcad.

Arts Projects

Week Beginning 11 May: The Duchess of Cambridge Photography Project

This is a photographic competition in which members of the public can submit images inspired by three themes – Helpers and Heroes; Your New Normal, and Acts of Kindness – by 18 June. 100 images will be chosen and will be displayed as part of the National Portrait Gallery’s new Hold Still Exhibition.

More information can be found here at

To submit your photograph, visit You can share your photos on Twitter with the #HoldStill2020 – please also include @COREArenaAcad!

Week Beginning 18 May: Mr Jenkins’ Musical Project

Week Beginning 25 May: Script Writing Challenge

Creating a production: Writing a Script and Poster for your production

The first task that you will need to complete is to create a script.

The script must be set in the future. The year is 2030 and the world is a very different place to how it is now. How has Coronavirus changed our planet and the way we live our lives? Think about how the environment may have changed? Think about the way we meet friends? Think about your communities? Think about how the political landscape may have changed?

There must be a maximum of four characters in your script and you may write a variety of different scenes or one longer scene. This script could be either for a film or a play, so you may want to think about what special effects and props you might want to include in your script.

Once you have finished your script, you must create a poster for your production. It must include the title of the film and a tag line (research what a tagline is if you are not sure). Think about what qualities your poster needs to have? How can you make it eye catching? What information does your poster need on it?

Week Beginning 1 June: Costume Design

Costume design in film and television is very important. It tells us a lot about the context of the production. When is it set? What is the character like? What has happened to the character before we have met them? What social class are they? Costume designers often create sketches of their ideas before they are sent to the costume makers who eventually make the costumes. Below is an example for one of these sketches.

You are going to design costumes for at least 2 of your characters. Key features of your character’s costumes must be annotated and explained, for example if a character is wearing a ragged shirt and torn, dirty trousers you might label this as “torn clothes due to the fact that the character lives on the streets and cannot afford new ones.”

Community Projects

Week Beginning 11 May: Pavement Chalk Message of Positivity

To help promote positivity and send, messages of thanks and support to members of your community – write a message or create a positive image that you can chalk on the pavements near your home.

Week Beginning 18 May: Family Tree

Create your own family tree! Speak to your family, see if you can find old photos and see just how much information you can find about your family, including their stories!

Week Beginning 1 June: Improving your Home Environment

Create something that will enhance the nature around you! This could be nature craft such as creating a wind chime, a bird feeder or even an insect hotel. You could even do some gardening!


Science Challenges


Before you start any of these experiments you absolutely must:

  • Ask your parent or carer for their permission and let them read the instructions before you start.
  • Make sure you have all the ingredients before you start.
  • Only use the ingredients listed.
  • Read all the warnings in the experiment instructions and on the packets that the ingredients came in.
  • Wash your hands after doing any of them and before moving on to another experiment.
  • Tidy up carefully after yourself.

How to make a Volcano


  • 10 ml of washing up liquid
  • 200 ml of white vinegar
  • Food colouring
  • Bicarbonate of soda about 1 tablespoon full
  • Sheet of paper
  • Empty 500ml plastic bottle
  • PVA glue and water mixed at about 50/50
  • Paint brush x 2
  • Newspaper
  • Poster paints


NOTE: This should be done outside due to the mess.

  1. Paint the bottle with the PVA glue mixture and stick a thin layer of newspaper strips to it
  2. Cover the newspaper with PVA glue mixture and add another layer of paper.
  3. Continue building up layers of paper around the bottle to form the shape of a volcano.
  4. Let it dry for at least 24 hours
  5. Paint the volcano with poster paints
  6. Let this dry and then add a coat of PVA glue mix.
  7. Leave it to dry for another 24 hours.
  8. Combine the vinegar and washing up liquid and 2 drops of food colouring into the empty plastic bottle.
  9. Roll the sheet of paper into a cone and use it to pour the Bicarbonate of soda into the bottle and step back quickly

Eruption time! …

How it Works:

A chemical reaction between vinegar and Bicarbonate of soda creates a gas called carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is the same type of gas used to make the carbonation in fizzy pop. What happens if you shake up a bottle of pop? The gas gets very excited and tries to spread out. There is not enough room in the bottle for the gas to spread out so it leaves through the opening very quickly, causing an eruption!

Balloon Pop! Not!


  • A Balloon
  • 2 pieces of sellotape, each about 2 inches in length
  • Small needle or a drawing pin (with adult supervision)


  1. Blow up balloon.
  2. Use the two pieces of tape to make an “X” on your balloon.
  3. Carefully (with parent supervision), push needle through the middle of your “X”.
  4. Leave needle in and see how long it takes your balloon to pop.

How it Works:

What causes a balloon to pop is called catastrophic crack propagation. This really complicated sounded phrase means that the hole in the balloon widening is what makes it pop, not the fact that air is slowly being let out. When the balloon’s hole gets bigger, it rips and eventually the balloon pops. In this experiment, the tape slow down this process.

Extra Experiments:

  1. Try blowing up the balloon in different sizes. Do the bigger, smaller, or medium sized balloons last the longest?
  2. Try using different kinds of balloons. Water, regular, skinny, round, etc. Which one works the best?
  3. Try doing it without the tape. What is the difference in time of it popping compared to the one with tape?
  4. Try pushing the needle through the thick spot of rubber at the very bottom of the balloon without using sellotape to cover it.

Milk Art


  • A bowl
  • A small amount of milk
  • Washing up liquid
  • Cotton bud
  • Food Colouring, more than one colour
  • Pepper (optional)


  1. Pour the milk into the bowl. Be careful not to move the bowl, you want the milk as still as possible.
    2. Put one drop of each colour in different places in the milk.
    3. Put just a tiny amount of soap on the end of the cotton bud, then touch it to one of the colours. WOW!
    4. Let the experimenting begin!
    5. To clean up, just pour the milk down the drain. (Do not drink it)

How it Works:

Milk has fat in it and the food colouring floats on top of the fat. The fat is all connected with bonds. Think of it like the little pieces of fat all holding hands with each other. Dish soaps are used on greasy or oily dishes because it breaks the bonds in fats allowing them to separate. When you add the dish soap to the milk, the fat separates and moves making your magical milk art!

Extra Experiments:

Does the temperature of the milk have any effect?
Try whole milk and skim milk.

Try skimmed milk with a drop of oil added
Sprinkle pepper on the milk before you add the soap, what happens to the pepper?

Egg Drop


  • Pint drinking glass, a plastic one if you have it.
  • Water
  • Pie dish
  • cardboard toilet paper roll
  • Ice (optional)
  • Raw egg Space where your family is okay with you doing the experiment because you may crack a few eggs the first couple of tries


  1. Fill the glass with water
  2. Place a pie pan right side up on top of the glass
  3. Place toilet paper roll vertically in the middle of the pie dish
  4. Balance egg on top of the toilet paper roll so the egg is lying on its side
  5. Once everything is balanced on top of each other, with one switft and quick motion hit the side of the pie pan with your hand. This is a horizontal swing, not a vertical swing. This needs to be enough force to push it off the glass.
  6. Watch in amazement as your egg falls into the glass unbroken.

How it Works:

It’s all about Inertia! Inertia says an object, the egg in this case, will stay at rest, unless an outside force acts upon it, your hand in this case. When you move the pie pan with your hand, gravity takes over and pulls the egg straight down into the glass of water.

Extra Experiments:

  1. Try adding food colouring to the water, just for a fun effect.
  2. Try boiling the egg first, does it still work? Why or why not?
  3. Don’t use the toilet paper roll, does the experiment still work? Why or why not?

Sun Dial


  • Straight stick about two feet long
  • small rocks or small seashells
  • a watch
  • chalk (optional)
  • Sand (optional)
  • Bucket (optional)


  1. Find a sunny spot and push the stick vertically straight into the grass or earth. If your garden doesn’t have any grass or earth, fill a small bucket with sand, take it outside and place your stick into the bucket so that it sticks straight up.
  2. Start in the morning when the sun is up. At 7:00 am use a small rock or seashell to mark where the shadow of your stick falls. Come back at 8:00am, 9:00am, 10:00am, and so on until there is no more daylight in the day. You may want to mark your pebbles with the time they were placed using chalk, if you are using a bucket you could use a sticker to mark the time on.`.
  3. By the end of the day your sundial will be complete.

How it Works:

The sun’s light will make your long stick cast a shadow. The shadow will change its angle depending how the sun’s light is hitting the stick because our earth is constantly rotating and revolving around the sun.

Extra Experiments:

  1. Measure how long the shadow that is cast by the stick is. Measure it in winter and spring. Are the measurements different? Which season has the longer shadow?
  2. Make a second sun dial after we reset our clocks each year. How are the two sundials similar? How are they different?

Changing of the Leaves


  • 3 green leaves from the same tree
  • Surgical spirits (from the chemist).Be careful. This is flammable and will also hurt if you get it in your eye.
  • 1 glass jar
  • Cling film
  • Paper Strip from a coffee filter or a strip of kitchen roll
  • Small bowl with hot water in it


  1. Break the all the leaves into tiny pieces and put them in the jar.
  2. Pour surgical spirits over the leaves until they are just covered.
  3. Mash and stir the leaves into the surgical spiritsuntil the rubbing alcohol turns slightly green.
  4. Cover the jar with cling film.
  5. Put the jar in a bowl of hot water for 50 minutes. Gently swish the jar every 10 minutes to stir up the leaves.
  6. Take cling film off and place paper coffee filter or kitchen roll strip intosurgical spirits. Make sure just one end of the strip is in the surgical spirits and the other end is near the top of the jar.
  7. Let the paper strip sit in jar for an hour. Then make your observations.

How it Works:

In this science experiment we used the surgical spirits and energy (hot water) to separate the colours. You likely saw green, and depending on your leaf type, maybe red, yellow, or orange. Chlorophyll gives leaves their green colour and is so dominant it hides the other colours in the leaves. But in the autumn, chlorophyll in the leaves breaks down allowing the other colours to finally shine through and show their beautiful reds, yellows, and oranges.

Dyed Flowers


  • 3 White flowers, carnations, chrysanthemums, daisies, …
  • 3 Bottles of Food Colouring in assorted colours
  • 3 clear plastic cups or small, empty, plastic bottles
  • Water
  • Scissors


  1. Fill each cup (or bottle) with water half way.
  2. Add 3 drops of food colouring into each of the cups. Each cup should be a different colour.
  3. Carefully cut the end of each of the flowers stems.
  4. Place each stem in a different coloured water cup.
  5. Wait one hour and observe your flowers’ petals.
  6. Wait one day and observe your flowers’ petals.

How it Works:

The Xylem of the flower works like a lift and brings the water from the cup all the way up the plant’s stem and into the plant’s petals. When it brings the dyed water up it ends up dying the plant’s petals. The Xylem is what allows the plant to get water from the roots all the way to the petals.

Extra Experiments:

  1. What happens if you try doing 5 drops of food colouring instead of 3 drops?
  2. Keep a picture log of your flower. Take a picture each day, and see how many days does it take for your flower’s petals to look the most saturated in colour.
  3. Try using other types of flowers. Do they work as well? Why do you think we suggested using white flowers?
  4. Try using a celery stick. What do you notice if you slice the celery stick the next day. Look at the cut surface. Can you work out which bits are the xylem?