Author: Mrs Clark

JUNIOR SALTIRE UPDATE

Our Science Club has spent some time now considering all aspects of wave power design and have done really well to come up with some innovative designs to enter for the competition.  Building them may prove a little more tricky, but we are looking forward to giving it a go.

Some of the issues we had to think about;

Floating and stability- Did we need weights to make our designs more stable in the water? Should we use wave breakers to keep it in position?

Electricity generation- How often does the magnet need to pass through the coils?  Friction of the magnet on a surface, lining the magnet and coils up.

Wave movement- How does the way waves move affect design?  Will all designs work, or does it depend on direction, height and frequency of waves.

Next week is National science week and we are doing lots of exciting things to do with movement.  Hopefully we will have time to blog and tell you all about it.

Celebration Of Science and Engineering Awards Glasgow

I know this happened last year, but it was so much fun I thought I would include the blog written by the children who took part.
On 9th June six of us from Port Ellen Primary School; Scott, Ewan, Jason, Emily, Ellen and Eilidh, went to Glasgow Science Centre for the Celebration of Science and Engineering. On the journey there we got to travel on the new MV Finlaggen ferry and had a tour round the bridge to see all the shiny gadgets and gizmos. The next day we got up early and set up our presentation at the Glasgow Science Centre along with 53 other primary and high schools from around Scotland. We went to see a science show, where they made things turn invisible, and got to play with the amazing science exhibits, finding out loads of information in a very fun way.
Next we had to present our science project to 4 judges from science industries around Scotland. Our teacher was told “Bye, Bye!” by the judges as she wasn’t allowed to see what we were doing. Our presentation was Mission SOS! Save our seas, and talked about biodiversity, the marine tank we set up in class, oil spills, beach cleans and tidal turbines. We had made a tidal turbine and wired our own electronic quiz on rock pool biodiversity. I think the judges really liked the puppet we made to help present, called Jim the Scientist. We also had videos of the lobster and crab we had in our tank.
Afterwards we had to compete in 5 STEM challenges put on by companies around Scotland. This included a Shell oil change task, a Lloyds Register ship’s ballast test, working with lasers and operating a mini ROV. The challenges were fun and we did quite well.
Finally we went to the IMAX for the presentation of awards to schools. Heather (the Weather) Reid was presenting the awards, along with Fergus Ewing, Minister for Energy. There were nine awards altogether, and we hadn’t entered most of them. Then she announced “And the award for the best presentation of a showcase, sponsored by BT, goes to Port Ellen Primary School.” We were extremely amazed, and our faces showed it! We had to go down and get a cheque for £250 and had our picture taken. At last we got home, having enjoyed the best trip ever!

QUAD BLOGGING

At Port Ellen Primary we have enjoyed using blogging technology to keep track of our learning, recording exciting and interesting events and expressing ourselves online. However we would like to improve our blogging skills and can best do this by looking at blogs from other schools around the world.
To do this we are going to take part in Quad Blogging, where we join with 4 other schools to follow and leave comments on their school blogs. The 4 schools that we will follow are; Burravoe Primary on the Isle of Yell in Orkney, Mrs Dechaine’s 3D class who are in Alberta Canada and Y5PM from Waterloo Primary School in England. So get blogging and leaving comments!

Teaching P34 to Blog

Yesterday we worked with Primary 3&4 in order to teach them how to blog. We had to log them them into Glow, and this caused a bit of a problem because all the passwords needed to be changed. Maisie said she had problems because her partner was newer to the school and didn’t know her account. Ciara said sometimes typing passwords was tricky, but pressing the show password button helped.
Next we had to show them where to find the blog on their class Glow page. Alicia said once they were on the dashboard some got stuck on what to write about. Elizabeth was impressed with how good some people were at typing. A really top tip our class passed on was to copy the blog before you publish because sometimes the system times out, and you would have to start again if you didn’t copy it first. When P34 were doing the blogs Danni was impressed with how much they wrote and their spelling. In order to teach skills to others, Annie said you need to be good at explaining things and Abbie said you must be patient, as people can take a long time to type. Oliver noticed you need to give people lots of thinking time.
Some of P45 are having problems getting on to their own blogs in school. Mrs Clark will investigate!

PHOTOSHOP OUR OWN CALENDARS

As part of our technologies project we decided to produce calendars for the school fair using Adobe Photoshop. This program not only will edit photos and backgrounds for interesting effects, but will also allow you to put them in a format like a calendar.
Initially we learned how calendars are set up in maths, then used our knowledge to create our own calendar month. To do this we had to learn how to create tables in Word, and used Wolfram Alpha, a computational search engine, to tell us on which day our month started next year. Those doing February had to remember next year is a leap year. Some clever person in the class had the idea of making the calendars bilingual, so we then found the Gaelic and used it in our tables.
The artwork required backgrounds for each month, designed and drawn by the children, then photographed. We took advantage of costumes from the panto to dress up and act out scenes for our backgrounds against a white board, taking photos.
After preparing the photos they were imported into Adobe Photoshop, where they were used to create layers. The magic wand tool was then used to remove the white background from the photos of the children and put them against their hand drawn backdrops. Text was added, and the calendar put together and printed. The result was fabulous and sold really well at the Christmas Fair.

Science Club Rockets

Port Ellen Science club kicked off this term with a building session using Knex, Lego and Quadro to build a vehicle of some type. Great designs, and an opportunity to see how different materials require different approaches.
Next a collective decision was made to try the Crest science activities from Einsteins Birthday Party Pack, a trial set from the British Science Association. These were great, and involved lots of balloon based experiments, Ewan’s group managed to put a pin in a balloon without bursting it and Anwen was able to use a balloon to move water without touching it.
Next week groups worked in teams to make a balloon powered rocket to carry an item across the room. There were some difficulties with friction and direction though!
Finally we had a science quiz to test the teams knowledge of all aspects of science, the chemists were the winners by a narrow margin.