Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Studying the Stream with Year Five

For a couple of weeks, both Year Five classes came to the science room.  They learnt some different ways of studying streams and then we went out and had three sessions completing a range of practical tasks.  These practical sessions accompanied the class work that was completed with their own class teacher.  On the first visit to the stream, both classes got to sketch the path of the stream, noting its width, depth and how shaded it was from the sun.

The second visit saw the boys learn how to construct a quadrat and carefully observe and count the stream life.  It caused much excitement when a few boys spotted eels but needless to say they soon disappeared from sight!

They also learnt how to measure the speed of the stream by using table tennis balls and timing them travel over a certain distance.  Everyone was given a role, from dropping the ball, to timing, to being the one responsible to give the ball a small nudge when it got stuck!

The final session saw the boys divide into two groups.  The first group measured the temperature of our stream in three different places.  They collected data from both the floor of the stream and near the surface.  This helped boys to clarify their thinking about what might change the water temperature.  
The second group got to learn about and use a water clarity meter.  This piece of equipment measures just how clear the water is, and with the recent heavy downpour the boys were amazed to see how murky the stream had become.  Later that day, Wellington newspapers reported the water in the Hutt River was also too murky to collect from, something that our boys could now understand!