Remarkable Parent Led Summer Science Fair a Resounding Success!

At Sciennes, we recognise that we are incredibly fortunate to enjoy such strong partnerships with families and to have such ongoing marvellous parental support.

Saturday 6th June, saw the culmination of tireless efforts to create the most remarkable parent led Science Fair : organised and led by parents – supported by staff and pupils – with many workshops and presentations delivered by parents and also supported by the multitude of parents who attended.

Aileen Nimmo, as Convener of the Fundraising and Events subgroup of the Parent Council (assisted by parent Stuart Robertson) and Claire Wheeler, as Chair of the Parent Council, have worked innovatively with teams of parents, staff and pupils to achieve a most magnificent day of learning about Science, as well as providing all the fun of the summer fair. Meticulous planning ensured the entire event ran extremely smoothly on the day. Thanks also to Science Specialists Mr Mark McKenna and Ms Wendy French for their support.

We are indebted to all our contributors for providing FREE Science Activities for the children, as a thank you for all the incredible fundraising this year for playground inprovements. Special thanks to the huge and invaluable contribution made by the University of Edinburgh Scientists led by parents Dr Geoff Bromiley, Dr Pau Navarro and Dr Alison Hulme and their wonderful colleagues and PhD students.

These photographs are an attempt to capture just a glimpse of an extraordinary day:

Aileen Nimmo, Convener Fundraising and Events
Claire Wheeler, Chair of the Parent Council, with some of our P7 ‘Fair Makers’ Leah and Ruyuan
Glossy leaflets designed by parent Jimmy Chow were issued by our P7 Fair Makers

Science Fair leaflet

Maps (produced by parents Stuart Robertson and Lee Healy)  helped everyone find their way round the many attractions –  all free!


Dr Andrew Murray

Dr Andrew Murray
Dr Andrew Murray is a highly accomplished athlete and sports/ expedition doctor.  He has smashed records and won races in some of the most incredible places imaginable, whilst working with some of the world’s leading athletes in a range of sports.


 In 2011 Dr Andrew Murray ran from John O’Groats to the Sahara Desert in 77 days and 8 hours, covering a staggering distance of 2659 miles. This epic run was filmed by BBC Scotland for  1hr documentary ‘the Ultimate Marathon Man’.

In November 2012, Andrew was the first to run 7 ultra-marathons on 7 continents in just over 5 days. Travelling to Antarctica, Patagonia, Atlanta, London, Egypt, Dubai and Australia, he completed the challenge in a bid to promote exercise as part of his role as the Scottish Government’s Physical Activity Champion.

In 2014 Andrew broke new ground by running the 10 highest mountains in the UK in a day, while he has placed first overall in races in some of the world’s most extreme environments including the North Pole marathon, the Sahara Race, the Gobi Challenge, the 6633 Arctic Ultra, and the Indo Jungle Ultra. He has climbed the highest peaks in Europe, Australia, South America, and Africa.

His work as an expedition doctor has taken him from the Himalaya to the North Pole, working on 6 continents while in sport he has worked at the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games, Ryder Cup, Commonwealth games, as well as an advisor for the Scottish Government.

His running has raised over £150k for charities he is passionate about, whilst his first book is called “Running Beyond Limits“.

Inspirational Dr Andrew Murray encourages Luca and Jessica to try to walk in his shoes.

Keep on running, even in the North Pole!
Special desert running shoes.

Dr Andrew Murray very kindly delivered his fully booked presentation twice and has generously accepted Ms Anstruther’s invitation to address our Assemblies next year. Thank you to parent Bruce Crawford, former Chair of the Parent Council, for introducing and hosting Dr Murray’s presentations.

Victoria Telford from Mercy Corps delivered a presentation on how Science can be used to help deal with natural disasters. We are grateful to parent Jacqui Wright for re-establishing our link with Mercy Corps, City of Edinburgh’s Partner Charity, and very grateful to Victoria for her time and ongoing support.

Aileen Nimmo and the Parent Council welcomed all our visiting guests and workshop providers.

Camera Obscura and the World of Illusions in the Sensory Room
Thank you to parent Andrew Johnson and his team from Camera Obscura for providing a hugely popular station in the Sensory Room.

Thank you to Andrew Johnson, Manager at Camera Obscura and the World of Illusions.

The Living World Zone featuring the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Scottish Badgers; Forrestry Commission, John Muir Trust and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

Thank you to parent Jo Pike (Deputy Chief Executive of SWT) and son Ben for manning the Scottish Wildlife Trust stall.
Thank you to the team from Scottish Badgers.

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds with help from former pupil Oliver Grothey and parent Marian Grothey.

The Neuroscience Zone 

Led by Dr Pau Navarro, Dr Matthew Broadhead and their teams from Edinburgh University
Build your own cells. Learn about your Brain with Team Synapse from Edinburgh University.

Thank you to parent Stuart Robertson for assisting Aileen Nimmo with ideas for the Science Fair.

Thank you to parent Dr Pau Navarro, Dr Matthew Broadhead and the team from Edinburgh University’s Neuroscience Department.

Thank you to University of Edinburgh Neuroscience Department
and to former parent, Professor Catherina Becker for her support.

Thank you to the Institute of Genetics and Molecular Science, Edinburgh University and to parent Dr Pau Navarro.

The Geology and Geoscience Zone 

Led by Dr Geoffrey Bromiley, Dr Kate Saunders and their teams from Edinburgh University.
The incredible edible earth: make your own models of the earth and different types of volcanos and eat them. Learn about volcanic eruptions with jelly and custard, plunge your hands into a box of sticky molten lava and learn about the different types of rocks lava can form. The Beauty of Rocks under the microscope.

Thank you to Dr Geoffrey Bromiley, Lecturer in Experimental Geoscience and Earth Materials Science at Edinburgh University.

Computing and Technology Zone: 

Led by Dr Eilidh Troup of Edinburgh University

Sort balls like a computer and race your own dinosaur.

Dr Eilidh Troup from Edinburgh University races dinosaurs!

Thank you to Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre (EPCC),  Edinburgh University


Fan Duel online software designed by parent and CEO Nigel Eccles. Children loved shooting hoops for free mini sports balls and sweets! Thank you to the Eccles family for their very generous donation of an iPad Air as First Prize in the Grand Raffle.

The Physics Zone:
Led by Dr Jayanthi Santhanam, Edinburgh University and Pauline Ritchie Have fun trying to make bubbles of all shapes; make your own sundials;see the p1A and 1B children show how capillary action works in carnations and play with ooze and see why breaking “Newtonian “rules can be fun. 

Learn about the exciting world of Geophysics with Sean Walker and find buried treasure with a magnetometer.

Wonderful examples of science experiment recording by P1 pupils on display, with Ms Carolyn Anstruther looking on … and bubbles!
Sophia kept a careful score sheet for the magnetometer challenge.
Talented family! Thank you to Tanya Boughtflower for all her fundraising efforts and for superb promotion of the Fair and to her husband and daughter for providing a geophysics stall.


Led by Dr Alison Hulme and her team from Edinburgh University

Make a rainbow in a box, write secret messages, spin Newton’s wheel of fortune and discover the magic of colour!

 If you look closely you can see the rainbow Isla is holding
Ellie’s very own rainbow

Welcome back, Rachel Fisher, former pupil and now PhD student at Edinburgh University.

Thank you to parent Dr Alison Hulme, Senior Lecturer in Organic Chemistry at Edinburgh University, and her team.

Thank you to Edinburgh University’s School of Chemistry.

The Maths Zone: 

Led by Dr Kristel Torokoff, Dr Ivan Cheltsov of Edinburgh University, Vanya Cheltsov

Magical maths and chess.

Welcome back to former pupil Vanya Chelttsov with his friend Charlie, mum and P6 brother Fedya. Thank you to Dr Ivan Chelstov from Edinburgh University

Thank you to former pupil Robert for assisting in the Chess Room

Thank you to parent Kristel Torokoff for setting up and supervising the Chess room

The ‘Break Out’ Zone: bodies and bones

Thank you to Amanda Hogg and Carlton Clinic and Fitness Studio  – based in the Grange and providing Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Massage, Pilates, Yoga, Fitness for Seniors and Personal Training.


Thank you to parent Charlie Silverton for his workshop on making and explaining noise.

Esther hands out tuning forks to help her Dad with his workshop

Inventor Donald Naylor brought his bike-powered kettle and invited people to boil their own water for tea before their burger was cooked!

And all of these wonderful science activities were free, as a thank you to all our amazing fundraisers.

As well as the magnificent Science Fair, there was also all the fun of the Summer Fair!

LUNCH : BBQ, Papa Johns Pizza, Asian Snacks, Noodles, Ice Cream, Teas, Coffees and Soft Drinks

Thank you to Papa John’s Pizza for generous donations to Friends of Sciennes School Trust

Cooking up a storm – parents Alison Aitken, Jack Cadell and Stuart Sheehan. Grateful thanks to Sainsbury’s Marchmont Road Local for heavily discounting BBQ foods.
Thank you to supercooks Linda Bjork and her husband.

Many thanks to the Ice cream Ladies in the  ‘Stanley Denvir Campervan.’

MAKEOVER STALL Face and nail painting

 Thank you so much to former pupils Lorna, Abi and Sophie


Thank you to parent Sarah McGregor-Norrie, for running the Bake Stall, to her friend Suzy Thomson (pictured above) for assisting and to everyone who donated such delicious, beautifully presented, sweets and treats.


 Thank you to Bethan McEwan, Claire Marshall and P6C Class Teacher Ms Wendy French


Thank you to parents Laura Bird and Nikki Crawford for organising and running the Plant Stall

Thank you to Homebase in St Leonard’s Street for their generous donations of plants.


Thank you to the Sciennes Football Club team for their ongoing efforts and commitment to working with more than a third of the school population!


Thank you, Susie!


Lauren Peden mans the Book Stall
P4C Class Teacher Miss Gladstone lends a hand at the Book Stall


Thank you to parents Ms Phoebe Cochrane and Mrs Mary Ross


Thank you to parents Gillian Clarkson and Mr Andreas Grothey for manning the secondhand bikes stall


Parent Lorraine Gormley and daughter Isla
 Lucy Casot with Jessica and Luca
Rhona McMurdo and Jessica
Class Teachers Mrs Fiona Barker 7C, Ms Bethan Owen P5A and Mrs Jane Maguire P5B (PTA Staff Rep)

Thank you to all staff who supported in preparing for the Fair and on the day itself, including Mrs Ford, Ms Dodds, Mrs Maguire, Mrs Barker, Ms Owen, Miss Gladstone, Mrs Helen Robertson, Ms Jenny Gaffney and Mrs Helen Anderson. Thanks to Mr Mark McKenna and Ms Wendy French for Science support and to Mr Forrest Howie for organising the P7 Fair Makers.
Mr Mark McKenna (Science Specialist) and Aileen Nimmo


Thank you to Lesley J Stewart, Fiona Anthony and Leanne Boyle.
Toby is hopeful!

Gathering for the Grand Raffle. Who will win the iPad Air? Grateful thanks to parent Emma Melvin for overseeing the Raffle and to all the families and companies who so generously donated prizes, including parent Mr Macsween for the haggis hamper and the Eccles family for the iPad Air.
Grateful thanks to Jimmy Chow for superb artwork in the Science Fair leaflet and poster and for kind sponsorship from the Grange Association, Papa John’s PizzaMacsween’s, Gift Experience Scotland, Sainsbury’s, Homebase, Edinburgh University and Fan Duel  as well as many other generous contributors. Thank you!


Presented by Headteacher Mrs Alison Noble. Thank you to Business Manager Ms Angela Christie for all her support with the Fair.

WIN FAIR BEAR: Congratulations Rebecca! (We know Ian Murray MP and Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, was also keen to win Fair Bear!) A winning week for Lauder!

And the total sum raised…? Will be announced soon, but yet again set to break all records!
 Thank you, Sciennes Family, for a fantastic day!

A special thank you to Mr John Reid, Service Support Officer and we are all sending our love and best wishes to Mr Neil Scott, hoping his recuperation goes well.