Year 5 visit to Solvay and Catalyst

Dear Diary

Today was very exciting. We arrived at school and sat at our desks with our bags. I was looking forward to going to Solvay and Catalyst so much, that I thought every second of waiting was a minute and every minute was an hour! Finally, everyone was there and the coach had arrived. We all lined up and got onto the coach.

After a long drive, we arrived at Solvay. If felt tense as we went into such as vast, noisy place. We went into the conference room and sat in front of a big screen. Then, Martin gave us a brief introduction and told us about what they did and how they did it. They make a chemical called Hydrogen Peroxide, then they wash it with water to make liquid bleach.

We also learnt that Ernest Solvay was the founder of the company and there used to be only one woman who worked there! I thought that was amazing. Then, we were split into three groups and we put on a protective coat, a hard hat and some protective glasses.

After that, our group went into the control room. It was very hot and stuffy, but we did learn a lot and our brains didn’t turn to mush from the heat. An alarm went off occasionally and the controllers had to sort it out. When the problems were fixed, it was time for us to have our tour of the plant. On our tour, I was surprised my nose didn’t explode from the stink of chemicals.

Our last visit was to the laboratory where we tested if liquids were different with some special paper. I wasn’t surprised that liquid B was just water. Next, it was time for us to travel to Catalyst for lunch.

As we arrived, we looked out at the River Mersey and saw a new bridge being constructed. As first Abi and I thought it was a rocket ship!

Once we had eaten our lunch, we went to the plastic workshop and sat around five tables and marvelled at the heat reactors, like the paperclip and the mugs. Then we were all given a measuring jug full of tiny, plastic white balls which we were to heat up until they turned clear.

Once we had done that, we moulded it into a pancake shape and heated it up again. Then, we did this one more time, but this time moulding glitter into it. Once it was heated, we quickly shoved it into a mould and left it to go hard. When it had hardened, we ended up with a very nice keyring!

Finally we went up a large tower to the very top and looked down at the wonderful view. It was a very good end to the day.

By Isobel Jenkins

Dear Diary

When I first arrived at Solvay, I was quite surprised that it was outside, as I thought that factories were always inside. We had to wear lab coats, hard hats ad glasses. My lab coat was like a wedding dress on me!

Our class was split into 3 groups. I was in Mr Leech’s group; our tour guide was a lady called Kal.

When we got outside, there was so much to see, like all the pipes and the different buttons and wires and switches. I really enjoyed looking at the plant as there were so many interesting smells in the air. However, I was glad to get out of the small tempest and into the control room which controls the whole plant. (It’s always the warmest).

Also we learnt about if you spilt any chemicals on you, you’d have to take a special shower. We learnt that only 59 people work on the plant and only 4 at night, which really surprised me!

Lastly, we went to the lab, which was my favourite part because there were so many brand-new smells wafting in. As we left Warrington, we saw the weighbridge which is where the produces get weighed.

Next, starving hungry, we went to Catalyst and after lunch we made our own keyrings out of plastic.

By Georgia Flanagan

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