About Axon

The gruesome discovery of a body buried in a remote location on Anglesey and the mysterious sinking of an enormous cargo ship.

Become an agent for Axon and use your science skills to investigate these two unexplained events.

Axon is an online science adventure for 11-14 year olds, Key Stage 3.

You control real life scientists on the ground, scour interactive graphs and archive footage for background information then conduct a series of interactive lab experiments.

To complete the tasks, work through the messages sent to you by Axon. These messages are video clips, interactive documents, experiments and reports.

Remember, Axon's chief scientist will be assessing your performance and will decide whether you qualify to become a fully-fledged Axon agent. Show you're up for the challenge by successfully completing the training task, then you'll be ready to move on to the main task.

1. Training task - Monrovia

Your first task is to find out why the Monrovia disappeared in suspicious circumstances.

The MV Monrovia was an enormous 30,000 tonne goods carrying ship. It disappeared without warning on a stormy night in the middle of the North Sea. Axon's agents have found the remains of the ship in two pieces on the sea bed. Your task is to work out what happened to it.

Tonnau (Waves): Is it possible that the waves created by the storm split the Monrovia in two and caused it to sink?

Ffrwydradau (Explosions): Did something on board the Monrovia cause an explosion big enough to split and sink it?

2. Main task - Corff Cors (Bog Body)

Mrs Ceri Evans has found a body in Cors Las on Anglesey. She thinks that it's the body of Saint Seiriol, a Welsh saint who lived in the area 1,500 years ago. But she needs confirmation.

Search for clues which could tell you something about the body - who it was and for how long it could have been there. Is it really possible that a body could be preserved for over 2,000 years?

Am y gors (About the bog): What makes the bog different to any other environment? Is there anything special about it that could've helped to preserve the body?

Am y corff (About the body): Examine the body and look for anything that could help you find out who this person was.

Atal y pydredd (Stop the rot): Look at what happens to a body in a normal cemetery and experiment to see what happens when you change the atmosphere/conditions around it.

Profion metel (Metal tests): Inspect the artefacts from Cors Las and compare them to items from the Iron Age. Is it possible that the Cors Las items are from the Iron Age?

Y dail a'r paill (Leaves and pollen): Use the distribution tree and microscope to find out which plants produced the leaves and pollen found on the body.

Collect your results in the Llyfr Nodiadau (notebook) as you complete these lab activities. Then, remember to save them safely to your report, ready to send to the head of Axon.

Cymorth Clyweledol (Audio Visual help)

Click on the Cymorth Clyweledol button to:

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You can also navigate most content using the keyboard.

About Mission 1: Training

Learners undertaking the Training Mission qualify as Axon agents on completion of the Explosions and Waves activities.

Ffrwydradau (Explosions)

Explosions is an activity which touches on chemical reactions, corrosion, changes of state and energy transfer, acids and isopropyl reactions. The learner watches animations showing the potential for explosive reactions on board a bulk carrier. The learner must evaluate what they have seen to determine whether or not an explosion of the material on board has caused the ship to sink. The science learning is contextualised by being delivered as part of an interactive story in which the learner has to solve mysteries using science.

Tonnau (Waves)

Waves is an activity which engages the learner in an exploration of the ocean's kinetic energy and its transfer when a wave comes into contact with a ship. This provides an opportunity to cover other areas of energy transfer and storage, in particular wave power as a sustainable resource.

The wave simulator allows the learner to determine whether or not a wave could have had enough energy and exerted enough pressure to sink the bulk carrier MV Monrovia.

About Mission 2: Bog Body

The Bog Body mission introduces five science-based activities through the investigation of a peat bog and the preserved body found there.

Am y gors (About the bog)
In this activity the learner accesses information about the geography, geology, chemistry and biology of an acidic peat bog in order to gather the clues that they think are most relevant to the preservation of organic matter. It presents cross disciplinary opportunities in that it not only allows for focus on the unique peat land ecosystem but also the huge impact humans have had on this environment historically and to the present day. The interaction is simple and intuitive to maintain the focus on active immersion and learning.

Am y corff (About the body)
About the body is an investigation into the body which has been found preserved in a bog. It encourages the learner to look closely at all of the details to extract clues which could give them answers as to who this person was: examining pictures of the body for clues about the person's life and death, looking at the teeth to determine how old they were and when they died and measuring their limbs to find out how tall they were.

About the body presents cross curricular opportunities, looking at evidence of how the person lived and who they were biologically and placing this in a possible historical context.

Atal y pydredd (Stop the rot)
Stop the rot explores how various conditions can affect decomposition. The user must explore how different levels of water, pH, oxygen and temperature can affect the rate at which a body decomposes. The aim is to find the conditions in which a body can be preserved, and conclude how long the body found in the bog could have been there.

Profion metel (Metal tests)
Some metal objects have been found with the body in the Cors Las peat bog. Finding out when they were made could reveal how old the body is. Metal objects known to be from the Iron Age were found some years back in another bog close to where the body was found. Test both sets of objects in acid solutions to reveal their composition and compare the results.

This activity provides cross curricular opportunities including looking at the history of metal extraction and why metal composition can provide such important information for archaeologists.

Y dail a'r paill (Leaves and pollen)
Leaves and Pollen is a plant classification and identification activity. Using two simple tools the learner is able to find out which plants have been found in the bog. The activity provides an opportunity to introduce peat lands as an invaluable historical record. Preserved matter in peat provides a record of climate, weather patterns, vegetation patterns and much more over time. This activity also provides cross curricular opportunities to look at the roles of plants historically. In this instance, the identity of the plants will become a clue in solving the mystery as to the origins of the body found in the bog.