Spring Term 2018

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STEM Day – Autumn Term

Nursery

Nursery children had the opportunity to participate in a selection of activities, including making magic potions, boats that float to fit a dinosaur, and building the tallest tower they could before it fell down.

Reception

Reception enjoyed taking part in the whole school STEM day (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
We experimented with circuits and learnt how to make a bulb light up by connecting wires to a battery and the bulb.
We explored Cuisenaire rods and made shapes, patterns and built towers with them.
We also learnt how to make paper lanterns by using scissors to cut lines into the paper and then use tape to join it together and create a handle.

Year 1

Year 1 explored different methods of transport for STEM day. They made paper rockets using drinking straws and tested how far they could fly. They made boats out of tin foil and counted how many pennies their boats could hold in the water. They also made bridges for a train out of different types of pasta and play dough and tested their strength with a toy train.

Year 2

Year 2 enjoyed taking part in a variety of different stem activities. One activity involved making towers out of newspaper. The children had to work in groups and discuss how to make their tower stable. The towers were tested by seeing how many books the towers would hold, one tower held 50 books!

We also did a science experiment to test the absorbency of biscuits. We heard the story of the gingerbread man and talked about what would have happened if the events in the story were to change We tested 3 different biscuits; gingerbread, digestives and rich tea and tested them by timing how long each biscuit would stay in warm water for before falling apart. All 3 classes found that the rich tea biscuit lasted the longest before breaking.

For our final activity we made our own marble mazes using a paper plate and different materials including, straws, lolly sticks and string. The children had to design their marble maze and think about the most suitable equipment to use before making it. Once the children had made their marble runs they were able to test them out and use each other’s. At the end the children had to decide if they would change their design as some of them had made their designs too complicated whereas some children’s were too easy!

Year 3

Year 3 had loads of fun taking part in our STEM day!

First, we made some rocket mice! We each made our own mouse and investigated different ways to make it fly like a rocket using different sized bottles. We learned about forces. We found out that the bigger the force the further the mouse went. Some of us thought the large milk carton worked the best because it was bigger and had more air in it. Some of us thought the small water bottles were better because the plastic that was thinner. The rest of us thought that the large coke bottles were the best because they had more air in and their shape made the air come out in a different way!

After break, we challenged ourselves to move an object without touching it using force. We came up with lots of ideas like blowing an object, sliding it and using gravity. We realised that we could use the force of a magnet to move an object without touching it. We then tested some different materials to make magnetic mazes. For our base, we decided that something strong and smooth would be best to move our objects around. We decided as a class that a piece of card, a paper plate, tables, trays or a white board were the best things to use!

In the afternoon, we turned into explorers and used a design specification to plan and build a boat. We needed to make a boat that could cross our ocean without us touching it but we were only allowed to use a bottle, some straws, card, tape, scissors, paperclips and a magnet! We used our knowledge of magnets and forces to make it move!

Year 4

Year 4 had a fantastic, thought provoking and exciting day introducing them to their new topic, sound, and allowing them to revisit some of their previous learning about states of matter.

The children took part in three different activities which allowed them to practice a range of skills:

Mr Hardy lead the children in converting a liquid (milk) into a solid as hard as concrete. The children needed to measure their materials accurately, work cooperatively with a partner and carefully follow a set of instructions to make their “rocks”. They were absolutely fascinated to see the change of state they produced.

With Dr Francis, the children’s focus was on making predictions and then testing their ideas. The children were shown three balloons which each made a different sound and, using their skills of observation and background knowledge, they made predictions about what was inside each balloon. Following on, they made predictions about the volume of sound other objects would make then tested their ideas using dataloggers to measure the volume of sound they produced.

With Mrs Bowes-Mulligan, the Year 4s became budding engineers as they constructed machines to show how sound waves travel. They worked really hard, using their maths skills to measure accurately to position the different parts of the machine correctly and were so proud of themselves when they could see how well their devices worked.

What a great learning day we had and everyone is already looking forward to the next one!

Year 5

Year 5 took part enjoyed several science investigations including:
1. What happens when you dissolve skittles in water?
2. Can you make flubber out of flour and lotion?
3. Can you create a lava lamp out of kitchen ingredients?
4. What combinations of bicarbonate of soda and vinegar do you need to make the biggest volcanic explosion?

This developed our understanding of materials and their properties. We made predictions by thinking scientifically about the ingredients involved. We discussed key terms and explored new vocabulary to enhance our learning.

‘My favourite was making flubber. Solid + liquid = a new type of solid with elasticity (today was the best!)’ George VH5.

Year 6

On Friday 10th November, Year 6 enjoyed an exciting afternoon of STEM activities.

The children rotated around the three classrooms and enjoyed stretching their scientific skills!

Mrs Smith’s class explored the power of air and the groups built balloon rockets. The children were given baskets of equipment from which they had to work as team to use a basic diagram to build their rockets. There was lots of scientific discussion about the best way to attach the balloons. Once the teams had built their rockets, their challenge was to investigate how they could get their rockets to travel the furthest. There was lots of discussion and lots of trial and error!

Mrs Williams’ class investigated chromatography. The class learnt about how chromatography is used in industry and forensic science. The children then they carried out their own investigations where they separated out the colours of felt tip pens. The class learned that one colour can be made up of many different dyes.

Miss Connors’ class investigated density using oil and ice cubes. Children made predictions based on their knowledge of the properties of materials and observed an oil and ice mixture change over time as the materials responded to one another. Each class discussed variants of the experiments, such as beaker shape or size, amount of oil or ice and children’s ‘enthusiasm’ when stirring the mixtures.

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