Exothermic Reactions’ brought to life

I had the pleasure of getting involved in a school project recently. Year 8 students at Four Dwellings Academy in Birmingham were learning about exothermic and endothermic reactions as part of the Science topic, ‘Activate Reactions – Chemical energy.

The facilitators initial planning explored the possibility of a project that involved the use of exothermic reactions for joining rail tracks or focusing on the local authority’s plans for climate change and sustainability. When these were not fruitful, an online search revealed our company, and more importantly, our hand warmers. 

I was soon recording and sending across a short, informal video message that set the scene for a challenge in which the students were asked to:

Use their knowledge about exothermic reactions to help me explain the Science behind the handwarmers to my customers

Use their research and creative skills to propose and explain an innovative way that Thermopacks could be used to help people

The best of their work was sent back to me, and it was brilliant. The students presented several different routes to market, all using the heat pack process for specific requirements.  We had boot warmers, cramp soothers, hot drink sleeves and keeping batteries warm.  The presentations were very funny at times yet showed a thorough understanding of how our hand warmers worked, and a real ability to relate them to different user groups.

The feedback back from the school reported real benefits for the students.Feedback showed that students felt they had learned about their ‘individual personal skills and abilities’, particularly ‘Creativity’. 

The achievement I am most proud of as a result of this experience is:

  • ‘I’m so glad they got my humour!’
  • ‘I worked really hard searching for all the information.’
  • ‘Winning the competition but also persevering to finish it.’
  • Managing to find a lot of information about this topic.’

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, due in large to the enthusiasm and sense of fun the students brought to the project.  Whilst our hand warmers and heat packs have been around for some 40 years now, it never ceases to fascinate me how they still evoke such strong response in people.  Every now and then, we get to see someone’s reaction to seeing and feeling a hand warmer heat up for the first time – and it is always wide eyed and slightly shocked, followed with a smile.

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