Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Let there be Light!

This week we finished off our lessons about light and colour.  Some of the Year 6 classes finished making their colour spinners and I was surprised at how much they enjoyed playing around with the colours to see what would happen.  Following the simple pattern from a website they were easily able to divide the circle into segments and then attached their paper to an old CD.  Using a hot glue gun, they then glued a marble into the centre.

We then learnt about refraction and did a few experiments using a glass of water and different objects.

After sharing our ideas, the boys then explored what happens when light travels through convex and concave lenses.  It was a sunny day, and boys being boys, a couple of them just couldn't help themselves with a lens, some sunlight and some paper...  Needless to say, we didn't want the smoke alarms going off and didn't want to encourage anything that could lead to a fire!

Boat Building

With the fine weather we've made the most of the good conditions and have based lots of our science outside.
The juniors have all been looking at floating and sinking and then building simple rubber band powered boats from bottles and attaching dowling and a paddle so that they can wind them up and watch them go.  It was really great to watch the year one's work out that it mattered which way they wound their paddle!

Year One's having lots of fun!

7N and 7M have been working on a boat unit within their classroom and then they each spent a day in the science and technology room constructing their own sail boats.  Once they were all finished some serious racing was had on the school pool - I'm sure there are some future boat designers in the two classes!

Sunday, 16 March 2014

This week in the Science Room

This week was the last session for Year One.  They got to finish painting their air dry clay peg labels, finish constructing their rubberband powered boats and finish a little assessment task all about which objects float and which objects sink.

It certainly was a busy day in the science room.

This week also saw some of Year Six come down and experiment with light and shadows.  A darkened room, a torch, a couple of mirrors and suddenly there's plenty of fun to be had.  We looked at how light travels, reflection, refraction and the visible spectrum.  The class were then given a challenge to hit a target using a $2 shop laser pointer.  The challenge was that the laser beam had to be reflected three times before it could hit the target!

Fortunately, the weather stayed fine so the Year Five classes were able to get back out into the stream for some testing.  The boys learnt how to measure the stream velocity using a table tennis ball, a length of string and a stopwatch.  They also all learnt how to take a quadrat count.  We didn't have a lot of extra time so instead of measuring out a square metre, each group used a plastic hoop from the PE shed.  This was a nice, simple way of marking out a space to count the objects inside a perimeter.

Friday, 14 March 2014

3D printing getting closer

Our school 3D printer is getting closer to being finished thanks to Mr Johnson!

This is a link to the NZ Herald, a short article describing what a 3D printer does in simple terms.

Earlier this week I watched an incredible news story about a Welsh man who has had his face reconstructed using a 3D printer.

The more I read about what they are used for, the more I realise just how common they are in our world and just how they are quickly becoming part of our everyday world.  

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

This week in the Science Room

Look what I found waiting for me on my desk on Monday morning!

Just fantastic!  Thanks Jude.  I love it when boys bring in and share something that they have found interesting about their world around them.

The Year Six classes have started their sessions on looking at light and colour. We found out about the visible spectrum (and the electromagnetic spectrum). We experimented with torches and making shadows, how to change the size of them and the different sources of light.  We did some experiments that looked at how light travels and then we had some fun using $2 shop laser pointers and mirrors.  Each group had to reflect their laser beam using the mirrors and then hit their target pinned to the walls.  Great fun and they certainly learnt about how light travels!

Year Five were fortunate enough to start their stream study yesterday and today before the wet weather arrived.  Both classes were given the opportunity to explore and have a good look in and around our stream.  How lucky are we that we have streams bordering both sides of our school!  The boys really enjoyed lifting the rocks and a few managed to spot a few eels, fish, spiders and flying insects.

After our play and explore, we then spent some quiet time taking a closer look at our stream and sketching the path of our stream, noting the width of the stream and how shady and sunny the different parts are.

Then this afternoon we started putting together our new 3D printer! Stay tuned for further updates on the building of it...