Secondary School Outdoor Learning
17th August 2020
Bringing science to life through bushcraft
Our Science through Bushcraft program is a series of practical-based workshops that teach a selection of key Bushcraft Skills and integrates them into the Science Curriculum at Key Stage 3, Common Entrance and GCSE.
Each workshop/session will last around 2 hours and can therefore be grouped together for small groups of up to 16 or rotated for large groups.
Topics include: Hookes Law; Energy conversion and Simple Mechanics from the Physics Syllabus, Combustion, Chemical reactions and Properties of Materials as well as detailed knowledge of Plant Physiology, are all brought into play whilst the students also experience the basic skills of looking after themselves in a woodland based environment.
Sessions can be based in your school grounds but you are also welcome to arrange a trip to Spring Wood on the Derbyshire/Leicestershire border.
Science through Brushcraft Workshops:
As a core bushcraft skill, Shelter Building has more to it than you might imagine. From the engineering and maths skills in order that your frame stays up, to retaining the correct incline of the roof to ensure that water is shed more than absorbed, the principles of Physics for you to stay dry. The materials used in its construction and the sequence and method of adding them into the construction are essential as is the consideration of insulation and thermal values. With additional time the value of an insulated floor made from available materials can also be considered as, in most cases, more heat is lost to the ground than the air.
Pot Hangers and Campfire Gadgets:
For a fire to be useful, its heat must be controlled and directed. Using mechanical principles, a tripod ensures that your pans are placed over the controlled heat of the fire to make sure that cooking, not burning, happens. With careful use of materials, the cooking stand can be made to be adjustable so that your pan can be raised and lowered which ensures that you are going to be able to gain the most from your fire.
General Fire Lighting:
Warmth, safety, cooking and light are all provided by a fire. The skills to establish and maintain a fire are essential for survival but are based in scientific principles. Density, thermal conductivity, surface area and Specific and Latent Heat are part of the evaluation of tinder and fuel materials. Combustion and the control of the fire triangle allow us to maintain an even heat and the practical considerations of shelter, prevailing wind and exposure allow us to find dry fuel even in the most challenging situations. These will allow us to establish a fire using a Firesteel and consider the challenges of other firelighting techniques.
Friction Fire Lighting:
Using the principles of Energy Conversion we can create an ember from the movement of our muscles using the heat generated by the friction between two pieces of wood. To establish a fire using friction alone can seem to be an impossible art, but with the careful consideration of all the factors is more achievable than you might imagine. Initial training is done using a group Bow-drill set but the aim is for the skilled practitioner to be able to manage alone. Nursing the ember into flame involves building this by adding fuel of the correct size, dryness, density and flammability and ensuring a supply of oxygen to complete the fire triangle.
Water is essential for life. Starting with the physiological effects of dehydration we will explore the ways to retain a supply of this necessity. This can include using the understanding of Photosynthesis and Transpiration to harness water excreted from the leaves of plants, or tapped directly from the stem. The dangers of groundwater supplies will be introduced with reference to common pathogens; bacteria, viruses, protozoa and nematode worms. The removal of these pathogens by filtration and sterilising the filtrate by boiling is the accepted method of sanitisation. The sessions will further the understanding of filtration by both membrane and depth and may also be expanded to use available resources to create a depth filter.
£180 per 2 hour workshop plus travel
There is a minimum charge of £340.