STEM Day – Summer Term 2 2018

The theme for our STEM Day across the federation was CSI (Crime Scene Investigation). Every child in our federation worked together on a special day of themed working to expand our STEM skills.

Nursery

Mrs Sutterby came into class to discover that our class dog named Cherry was missing. There was a black hand print on the wall. Mrs Sutterby marked off the area with cones and tape, so we could investigate what had happened. We thought of ways of tracking Cherry down. We looked at the hand print and measured it against our hand prints. We checked out our finger prints with paint to see what they looked like. We decided the hand print belonged to someone with a big hand. Some children used binoculars and magnifying glasses to search for foot prints and hand prints. Other children tried to sniff for Cherry, wrote posters to place around the classroom and searched for other clues. Another child said we should tell the police. We wrote a letter to Mr Barnes the caretaker to see if he had seen or heard anything when he locked the classroom door.  Mr Barnes checked the cameras and told us to check the office. We discovered Cherry under Mrs Borgars’ desk. We are pleased to have Cherry back in nursery.

Reception

On STEM day, in Reception, we thought about Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths and thought about the story Dinosaur Police. We had to see if we could make a ramp that would help the police car travel the furthest to catch Trevor the dinosaur, and after lunch Trevor had visited our classroom and eaten our pizza! We found footprints in the classroom and cheese on the floor, and were able to measure the footprints like we had been practising in our maths this week. Trevor had eaten our pizza but left the ingredients to make more so we were able to have a go and making, then eating pizza. We felt happy at the end of the day as Trevor had been a nice dinosaur to us and left us our ingredients 😃

Year 1 and 2

At the beginning of the day we found a crime scene in our school! We learnt in assembly that all the pencils had been taken and there were three suspects. We spent the day doing different crime scene investigation activities in the Year 1 and 2 classrooms to find out who committed the crime.

Measuring footprints
Footprints were left at the scene and the children used their skills to measure the footprints to identify the culprit. First the children looked closely at the footprints to see if they could see anything that may help them. Then the children used rulers to measure the footprint and compared the length they measured to the size of the suspects.

Computing – Recording the crime

The children looked at different photographs from the crime scene and reported what they could see using the computer. They recorded the evidence found from the suspects using a variety of description to rep

Dusting for fingerprints
The children found fingerprints on CDs left at the crime scene. They used dusting powder to dust on the fingerprints and lift them off using sellotape.

Chromatography
The children were left a note from the culprit and they had to work out which of the suspects had written the note. The children completed an experiment which separated the ink mixtures into the colour compounds to find a matching ink!

Fingerprints
The children printed their own fingerprints and looked at the different patterns they could see.

Observing fibres closely
The children looked at fibres from different materials closely using the digital microscope. They matched materials to the fibres they found.

Year 3

We began our Year 3 STEM day receiving an email which said that there had been a break in at our school and the culprit had taken all of our work we have been doing on Fantastic beasts! The only thing the culprit left behind was a bone covered in vinegar from their meal last night…

In our science topic we have started learning about fantastic beasts, their skeletons and different types of food. When we looked at the bone that was left behind, we saw that it was bendy! We all wanted to learn how this had happened so we researched how to make a bone bendy. We found out that this happens when a bone is left in vinegar. Vinegar is actually a very mild acid. We thought we would try this out for ourselves using a chicken bone and vinegar. We also decided, that to make it more of a scientific investigation we would put another bone in coke (another mild acid) so we could compare the two bones after five days! We’re looking forward to the results!

We looked at other ways bones move and discussed the way our backs bend. We realised that this was because of the joints in our back. We were given pipe cleaners and straws and had to make a model using these that explains how our backs can bend! We then sketched different skeletons.

We were asked to complete a Cluedo challenge and work out which Cluedo character committed the crime. We were given a list of the different Cluedo characters with facts about them. We then had to complete different maths challenges to work out which people to might have been. We couldn’t decide between two people…

However, one suspect was allergic to vinegar! It had to be Colonel Mustard! We had solved the mystery! We decided to reply to the email to say that we knew who the culprit was. We all accessed our school email accounts and replied to the Cluedo detective with our good news!

We really enjoyed our STEM day and had fun solving clues to work out the mystery!

 

Year 4

As the focus of our STEM day was CSI, the children put their detective skills to the test, examining and comparing their own fingerprints. They learnt that although fingerprint are unique to the individual, they can be classified into 3 groups: loops, whorls and arches. The children investigated their own prints and used careful observation to decide which group they belonged to. Using this scientific learning and our recent work on data handling and statistics in maths, the children answered the question ‘How do our fingerprints compare to national averages?’ Children confidently collected the data and presented their findings. Using computing, they investigated all the possible ways they could show the collected class data, including bar and pie charts and donuts. Then, they discussed which image was the most effective and explained why. The children thoroughly enjoyed collecting ‘dactylograms’ (otherwise known as fingerprints).

 by Jack and Willow

 by Benji and Grace

Year 5

Year 5 discovered how to write secret messages using different types of invisible ink, which they made themselves from lemon juice and candle wax.

They worked in teams of three to find a murderer by solving mathematical clues based on measure and later completed a maths investigation involving mysterious footprint casts.

In the afternoon, Year 5 discovered more about the history of fingerprinting. They observed their own fingerprint before designing it into a very individual piece of art.

Year 6

During our STEM Day, we became expert detectives and solved a murder mystery during a giant game of Cluedo! After answering questions by applying our mathematical knowledge and skills, year 6 accused Mr Chris Hemsworth (Hollywood actor), in the school canteen, with a protractor.

In the afternoon, year 6 explored fingerprints! We discovered everyone’s fingerprints are unique! Consequently, this makes fingerprints ideal for solving crimes through gathering forensic information. We learnt there are three different types of fingerprints: the loops (most common fingerprint pattern), the whorl (identified by showing two deltas), and the arch (identified by showing no deltas). After applying this information, which was through the use of charcoal, year 6 students discovered which type of unique fingerprints they have. This then developed into allowing our creative mind to flourish and produce artwork to demonstrate all the different swirls and patterns.

 

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