OXFORD High School swung its doors open to 70 pupils from schools around the city yesterday in a bid to encourage youngsters to get stuck into science.

Year 5 pupils from six schools in the county joined the girls at Oxford High School for the third JEMS (Juniors Engineering, Manufacturing and Science) morning of the year to explore the properties of hydrogels, a gel made from water.

Children deconstructed and compared several brands of nappies, working alongside year 8 pupils who monitored the activity.

Organiser of the event and science teacher Maria Whittington said: "I know that these opportunities challenge the students to develop a better awareness of the world around them, and can inspire them too- for example to be part of a team that works to find a cure for a disease, or that invents the next smart material."