An exciting new learning zone at Elizabeth Castle is giving primary schoolchildren the opportunity to discover the scientific laws of ‘force’ and ‘motion’ in a fun and interactive way.

The ‘Make a Bang’ area, which is sponsored by Ogier, sits within the ‘Granite and Gunpowder’ exhibition off the Parade Ground. It is based on the firing of cannons, an integral part of the Castle’s history and one of the most memorable parts of a visitor’s experience at the historic site.

The Master Gunner, one of the most popular Living History characters, regularly fires a cannon at the Castle and ‘Make a Bang’ taps into the science behind this. Schoolchildren can learn about the history of gunpowder; the process of firing a cannon; how ‘force’ works to fire a cannon; and Newton’s Three Laws of Motion. As well as questions and quizzes, there is also the chance to fire an Airzooka (air vortex toy cannon) to put their learning into practice in a safe and fun way.

Helen Otterwell, Jersey Heritage’s Head of Education, said: “STEM (Science, technology, engineering and mathematics) is an important part of the Jersey curriculum and our new learning zone introduces a fun and interactive way for schoolchildren to find out how the laws of force and motion work. The firing of the cannon by our Master Gunner is always one of the most exciting parts of a trip to Elizabeth Castle, which makes it the ideal way to grab children’s attention and imagination, while sharing scientific knowledge with them.”

As well as sponsoring the ‘Make a Bang’ learning zone, Ogier have also sponsored the black powder required to keep the Master Gunner in action until the Castle closes for the winter at the end of October.

Nicola Carroll, Ogier’s Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, said: “Learning outside the classroom is an important part of a child’s development. The ‘Make a Bang’ area at Elizabeth Castle gives young Islanders the chance to be on-site, discover the history of the fortress, and learn about force and motion in a fun, engaging way. We’re proud to continue our support of Jersey Heritage as the charity brings STEM learning to life. We hope that Islanders and visitors alike enjoy finding out what happens when the iconic cannon is fired on their next visit to Elizabeth Castle.”