Science Walk KS2 – Stop 1: St John’s College

At each stop on the walk there will be a story and an activity. Worksheets for children to use during the walk need to be downloaded and printed off at school and brought with you.

Stop 1 | Stop 2 | Stop 3 | Stop 4 | Stop 5


Story One:
William Gilbert (1540–1603)­

­St Johns college

This stop explores the life of William Gilbert who was a student at St John’s college.

He loved hard work – he studied for 3 different degrees and the last one qualified him to be a doctor. He went to work in London, and eventually became President of the College of Physicians and personal doctor to Queen Elizabeth I.

As well as working as a doctor, he spent his spare time doing scientific research just for fun. He was really interested in magnets and checked out every idea any one had ever had about magnets by doing experiments and recorded his results in a big book called ‘On Magnets’. William’s book about magnetism was read all over Europe, and it changed the way people did science forever. It made people realise that you had to do experiments to check that your ideas and theories were correct.


Activity One: Testing superstitions

William Gilbert tested lots of different ideas and theories to see which were correct.

Children can take part in an experiment to predict and test a set of objects to see if they are magnetic.

Background information for teachers


Stop 1 | Stop 2 | Stop 3 | Stop 4 | Stop 5