Science Day October 2018
Wow Science Day at Toftwood Federation
On Tuesday 16th October the children of Toftwood Infant and Junior School Federation enjoyed a fabulous, fun day of science.
We began with a visit from scientist and author Amanda Hartley who started by talking to the children about what it is like to write a book involving science. The children enjoyed coming up with ideas for story settings using their senses and talked about which parts of their bodies they would use to generate these ideas. The children loved sharing their amazing ideas like the ‘sweet smell of gingerbread’ or ‘the disgusting odour of a rotting corpse’! They even thought about ‘the wet, slimy feel of mould’.
Then the science….the children had to become DNA Detectives to discover who had stolen a dog. They learned that our DNA is the instructions for making all the parts of our bodies like hair and hands, and even decides if you can roll your tongue! We also learned that the real name for DNA is deoxyribose nucleic acid! They were fascinated to learn that DNA is in the nucleus of all the cells of our bodies except red blood cells and were stunned to find out that there are 37 trillion cells in our bodies! Next, the children found out that Forensic scientists can recover DNA from so many things like your hair, your wee and even from bogies!
Some of the children put on special clothes and one child noted that, “They need gloves and masks so that they don’t get their own DNA on anything.” Amanda talked to the children about Lockhart’s principle that everything you touch leaves a trace of your DNA and so collected samples of hair, poo and saliva from the “crime scene” to find out who the thief was. After that, the children looked carefully to compare the analysis of the samples they had collected with evidence form the missing dogs. One of the children realised, “We knew one of the dogs was Evie because we looked for the patterns in the DNA results.” While another noted, “We found an exact match in the samples.” The children were really proud that their great science work identified the guilty person (and they had so much fun too).
In the afternoon, we were visited by Nick Corston who came to talk to us all about rockets. We started off by thinking about how our imagination and creativity can help us in our science learning. Nick told us about STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and maths) and all the great jobs you can do if you learn these subjects. The children loved hearing about scientists who have used their imaginations to help create new and fascinating devices. For example, they heard about Elon Musk who loved to read books and stories, and used his imagination to come up with ideas about electric cars, solar panels and space rockets; they all wanted to be just like him!
After that, Nick told the children the story of author Homer Hickam, an engineer with NASA who also trained astronauts. The children loved hearing about all the trouble Homer caused when he was a little boy and built his own rockets. They learned about the force called thrust which is needed to push a rocket off the ground and how rocket fuel, petrol and even air can be used to create thrust. Finally, the children were thrilled to go outside and launch an air-powered rocket and then…an amazing black-powder rocket blasted off from the playground. It was very exciting. One of the children said, “I predicted the second rocket would go higher because the force was bigger.”
What a wonderful day we had, one of our visitors said, “Your pupils were amazing and their knowledge and enthusiasm was fantastic.” The children were inspired to think more about their science and their stories too! “I can’t decide if I should be a writer or a scientist.” Said one girl; what a great dilemma to have!
Year 1 Wild Science Visit
Year 1 had a visit from Wild Science to enhance the children’s learning of their topic ‘Animal life’. The children had been learning about classifying animals into mammals, amphibians, reptiles and birds and also learnt about animals that are herbivores, omnivores and carnivores.
Issac visited on 3rd October and worked with each year 1 class to talk about classifying animals. They came with lots of animals to look at, discuss and touch. The children met Sonic the Hedgehog, Smokey the Chinchilla, Rose the Tarantula and Millie the Millipede, as well as others!
The children really enjoyed seeing the creatures up close and listening to the facts that Issac was sharing about each animal. The children also learnt how to handle and care for the animals by being kind and gentle.
We had lots of fun investigating and exploring during science week. We enjoyed finding out which materials were magnetic and not magnetic in the tuff spot. We sorted real money from toy money using the magnets. We looked at changes to materials as we mixed and cooked gingerbread men. We made predictions of which materials would float and sink, then tested it out in the water tray. We also found out about our teeth and how to look after them when Anita Webster and Dipsy cam to visit the class.
We learnt about growing and what a plant needs to survive by planting some cress.
We looked closer at plants through some observational drawing of tulips and talked about the different parts of a plant like the stem, petal and leaf.
We had a go at making boats with different materials to see if they would float and sink.
Anita from the Oral Health team came to talk to us about how to look after our teeth.
Year 1 had a great week finding out new things and investigating different areas of Science. We made our own bubble wands and bubbles out on the playground. We even made giant bubbles with hoops!
We investigated magnets too. We predicted which items we thought may be magnetic and sorted them into a table. We then tested these objects and re-organised them depending on our results.
We also explored how many paper clips we could get on one magnet and made our own flying superheros using magnets!
We looked at a magnified photo of a mushroom and made predictions of what it might be. We then looked at more close up images of fruits and vegetables and matched them with their labels.
During British Science Week, Year 2 completed a range of experiments and activities. We looked at cleaning pennies using salt and white vinegar, and then placed some nuts and bolts in to see what happened. The pennies were really clean, and the nuts are bolts turned black!
We also designed and made our own baskets to carry tomatoes, which we tested out by dropping them from a height to see if the tomatoes stayed whole.
Another experiment we completed was looking at how quickly we could make ice cubes melt by putting different things on top of them. We used warm water, salt and sugar. We found out that the warm water melted the ice cube the quickest.
We were really excited to work with students from Neatherd High school where they taught the children how to make a straw rocket. We tested how different angles made the rocket fly differently and then had competitions to try and hit targets!
Year 1 and 2 children also spent the first day of Science week doing 6 different experiments in each of the Year 1 and 2 classrooms. They explored which liquids dissolve gingerbread men the quickest, what happens when you mix baking powder and vinegar, how to make invisible ink, what colours are in felt tip pens, which objects float and sink and how to get a card butterfly to balance on your finger!
We began our year 3 science topic ‘Rocks and Fossils’ this week and have looked at the three different types of rock, igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic. We also discussed natural and man-made rocks and in groups decided what category the rocks went in! We then looked at some rock samples and using a key, worked out what they were! We had a lovely time doing this even if gneiss and granite looked really similar. To finish our week off we started looking at fossils! We learnt about the difference between bones and fossils and that there are 3 different types of fossils (trace, body and chemical fossils), what there are and how they are made! We then learnt about and ordered the way in which a body fossil is made!
On Wednesday we had some visitors from Neatherd High School to complete an experiment with us. We learnt about chromatography and looked at how to separate colours in ink. We used different felt tip pens to see which colour had the most colours inside it! We first put a dot of our chosen felt tip pen on chromatography paper, we then dipped the paper in some water, making sure not to dip the ink in! We watched as the water travelled up the paper and separated out all the colours! We enjoyed comparing our results and discussing them with each other – we were amazed at the pinks, yellows and blues which came out of the black ink!
On Friday we had another visitor come in to teach us all about oral health. We learnt about how much hidden sugar was in drinks (13 teaspoons of sugar in a ‘healthy’ strawberry yoghurt drink!). We also found out how bacteria can build up in our mouths between brushing and how to look after our teeth – we were all left desperate to clean our teeth after the session!
Year 4 have had a thoughtful and experimental science week. It has been fabulous to watch their curiosity and interest grow throughout the week including some opportunities to get hands on!
We started the week by investigating different ways to generate electricity, understanding that fossil fuels can be damaging to the environment and within a few decades we may eventually run out. Knowing they will inherit the planet we sought to find more earth-friendly ways to generate power and presented an information poster showing what they have learned.
Using the newly acquired knowledge we set forth and tested wind power by building a wind turbine from a kit and experimented with different blade positions to see which would be most effective generating the most power. We then investigated solar power and how it works. Afterwards children had a chance to build their very own wind turbine and see how effective they were!
Visitors from the Astronomical Society in Norwich stopped by also to give an assembly on the stars, planets and the effects of light pollution (very little in Norfolk which his quite fortunate for us.)
We finished the week with a health visitor visiting the Infant School which we attended to learn about good oral hygiene and health, discussing the importance of having treats in moderation and taking care to brush effectively after a good meal.
Children are still discussing what happened during science week which would be considered a great success! Teachers and children alike had a fantastic time and learned a great deal from science week.
Monday 12th March was the beginning of British Science Week at our school where we got to enjoy lots of fun activities focusing on Science. Year 5 and 6 had a talk from a PHD student from the UEA about marine biology. He told us what it is like at University and what to expect from studying a science subject. The Astronomical Society gave a talk to the whole school about different types of stars and how they view them. We also had an oral health presentation over at the Infant school. This gave us some handy tips on how to keep our teeth clean and why we should avoid sugary drinks. On Tuesday 13th March, some teachers from Northgate High School, came to help us design a suit for an astronaut on a spacewalk. We had to test different materials to see which one gave the most U.V. protection when exposed to sunlight for 30 seconds and we measured our results on a colour chart. We also tested different liquids to see if they would be an appropriate coating for the suits against U.V. rays. It was very exciting wearing the goggles and using new equipment. Year 5 thoroughly enjoyed Science week and we learnt a lot about different areas of Science. Lots of us were very inspired by our visitors.
On Wednesday 14th March, Northgate science teacher Mr Jones greeted us in the classroom. He introduced himself and explained the purpose of his visit: it was science week. The topic of the science week was exploration and discovery, so we were going to discover the uses of vitamin C. He showed us six pictures on the interactive whiteboard and showed us how they were all linked together. There images were: Captain Jack Sparrow, a gorilla with rotting teeth, oranges, some potions, Charles Darwin and a boat. We discussed this for a while in small groups before turning our attention back to the teacher to discuss our ideas. Most of us put in our ideas before someone proclaimed, “Vitamin C.” Mr Jones then explained the result of not eating Vitamin C is scurvy. Scurvy can prove deadly or leave your teeth in chaos.
This led him onto explaining his activity. We were to discover which of the following food had the most vitamin C: oranges, kale, lemons, potatoes and carrots. He set each group one of those foods and asked us to test its vitamin C. He left the instructions on the board and we followed them. Our safety goggles were very useful as our group’s ingredients, lemons, could have squirted us in the eye.Once we had reached around the seventh step, he explained the dangers of iodine, a chemical which can irritate your skin. We were very careful and we dropped each drop into our tube. The lemon took 86 drops to turn the correct colour: a night-sky black. We recorded our results on our tables and we asked each group what their results were. We concluded that oranges contained the most vitamin C and kale had the least. This meant that if we were on a voyage like when Charles Darwin did, we would take oranges with us so to not get scurvy. This was a fun experience and we would wish to see another experiment.
By Courtney N, Emma D and Alyssa H
During world science week, we had two astronomers (from the Norwich Astronomy Society) come in to tell us about astronomy. It was an exciting experience to have, since not everyone in the world has a chance to learn about astronomy. They first told us to about what the difference is between a light polluted location and a non-light polluted location. Even if you have a high building you need an isolated one to see the stars clearly. Afterwards, they said that every star has a name. Then one person from Year 4 spotted a bright pinkish star in an image of space. We later found out that the star was a bit like a mother star, it was creating millions of stars. Next, we learnt about the planets’ sizes. This was represented by placing planets as balls next to each other (making Earth look tiny in relation to the other planets in our solar system). Then the astronomers showed us images of space which were extraordinary. In conclusion, the experience was fascinating.
By Aksayan, MS6
On Friday, Year 6 enjoyed an informative session about dental hygiene and care from Anita Webster. All the children (and adults alike) learnt some interesting facts about ways to brush your teeth and keep them healthy. We were all surprised about the sugar content of some of our well known favourite drinks. It rounded off what was a fantastic week of learning, thank you to all the organisers.