All posts by Rhys Gairns

Plastics; Friend or Foe?

Through a course of hundreds of years we have had a glorious yet destructive item, known as plastic. It is a durable material which is made from oil. It can be made into almost anything, from cups to cars. It is extremely common, and we even think that we could dump it anywhere with almost no consequences, but is that true?

Plastic is everywhere, which proves how reliable, cheap and popular it is. It could be used for packing, making anything inside a cardboard box safe from scratches or marks. And although people do say that oil is running out quickly, and it will be scarce sooner than we think, plastic doesn’t have much to do with that. Plastic only uses about 5% of oil in the world every year. It can’t hold anything, of course. A plastic bridge or a plastic skyscraper just couldn’t work, but as these things take years to make, and their materials are very expensive, it’s understandable why something as cheap as plastic wouldn’t be able to hold the weight. Plastic could also be used for transport. Plastic is lightweight, but strong with the right manufacturing. With it being light but strong, it is a perfect recipe for cars, to make them fast, durable and resistant to weak blows. Relating to its packing form, it can easily carry your shopping for only 5p most the time. You may complain that plastic bags break too often, but what do you expect for something that is 5p? Plastic is also extremely useful for power cords, as electricity cannot travel through plastic.

But, of course it has its disadvantages. Plastic probably has the biggest effect on the ocean out of everything it may damage. Plastic litters the street, the beach and most importantly the ocean. Plastics never break. The may decompose, but they only become micro-plastics, which is still dangerous to the environment and the sea life. If a sea creature eats a bit of plastic, it could harm its organs, and if it has children, its children would also have plastic in its body. Micro-plastics have this same effect. Plastic that is too big for an animal could either choke the animal if it tries to eat the plastic, or the plastic could get stuck around the animal, which could prevent it from eating, moving or it could tangle around the animal’s throat and choke it. If we eat something that has eaten plastic we would also be eating plastic, as fish can’t digest it. It’s not as dangerous for humans as it is for fish, but would you like to eat plastic?

In the end, plastic does have lots of benefits, and to stop using it altogether doesn’t seem like a good idea due to the amount of it we use and somethings would be impossible without it. But we should be wary on how much we use and what we do with our plastic and only use it where it is really necessary. Throwing it away is not a good idea and we should recycle as much as possible, and if people try to do things such as beach cleans to try to get rid of as much plastic as possible, I think we can live with plastic sustainably.

Port Ellen Primary School Clubs

In Port Ellen Primary School we have created clubs to teach other people skills and also to improve leadership skills. The clubs and their leaders are:

  • Kodu club, run by Rhys, Aidan, Donald and Ciaran
  • Playground Games club run by Ellen, Caitidh and Millie
  • Board Game Club run by Charlie, Scott and Drew
  • iMovie club run by Alexander, Evie, Braedan and Rhuraidh
  • Mindfulness club run by Mara, Charlotte, Dearbhla, Orla and Harmoni
  • Football club run by Jack, Holly, Aaron and Freya

Christmas Fair: Making The Products To Sell

For the School Christmas Fair we got into teams and had to design a company, adopt roles and do market research to make products to sell.  The process of making all the items, cakes and everything else took 2 weeks.  We had a budget of £20. The first thing we did was get into our roles. We were each assigned to the roles we would be good at. Next we had to make our team name/logo. We made our name “The Merry Marauders” and our logo was a gingerbread man.

We then chose what products would make us a profit, and if we would be able to make it in the given time and budget we have. Our first idea was to make cushions, so the manager brought in a lot of stuffing and the school had a sewing machine that we could use. The cushions had  pictures on the top that were also sewn on, however they weren’t very Christmas related.

We needed more items however so we went to make some charm bracelets. We went on Word and made 24 charm bracelet notes out of card, then we got string, put it through a hole in a charm, and tied it around the middle of the charm bracelet note. The charm was a dandelion. We made two more things after that.  We also made wooden decoations.

The next thing we made some dog biscuits. We got some whisky tins, covered them in card which has painted paw prints on, put on a label that says “Santa Paws Christmas Treats” and filled it up with homemade dog biscuits. After that we made one more product. We got small jars, put a wish inside, then put them in a box. We put all of this in a balance sheet, which managed what we have purchased, it’s cost, how much we got for it and the overall profit. We managed to make £44.31. Our group won the competition on who would make the most profit.

Vote the Gender Party!

The gender party is a group that tries to stop gender discrimination. We have made a sway about our group: https://sway.com/EZoyWpaimtukFRDx?ref=Link&loc=mysways  in the sway we made a video about why you should vote for the gender party and we put information about our group (manifesto, roles etc). We plan on trying to stop gender discrimination around Islay and out school. An idea we had in our school was for girls to play Fifa and boys to play just dance. Our slogan is: It’s not who we are on the outside, it’s who we are in the inside. We have made a poster for our group and it is on the sway as well as our slogan. We have written a speech which the team leader is practicing. We have not done elections yet but we will be doing them soon. By getting enough votes, we can try to stop gender discrimination in our school, and then the whole of Islay!                              This is our logo:

Celebration of Engineering Event

On the 31st of May 2018 we had an  engineering fair. We were showing other people our learning about engineering. We had made sections about things such as engineering new things out of Lego and K’nex and we had sections for global warming.

There were also things to do with the STEM club. There was a simulation of the great pacific garbage patch. We were shown a video about a large net pulled by a boat that went to the great pacific garbage patch to collect as much garbage as possible. Some of us went to try and make something to collect as much of the stuff inside the simulation of the great pacific garbage patch as possible. One of the designs was a bunch of pipe cleaners with beads on them on the handles which would make it float. Then it would be pulled along to collect as much rubbish on the surface as possible.

In the hall there was a save the polar bears desk where two people were sitting at the desk, getting donations so they could save polar bears. There were lots of posters explaining how polar bears are endangered and how they could be saved. Just down from the polar bear desk there was the engineering endeavour table. There were four people. The first person was doing mechanical engineering, the second person was doing coding engineering the third person was doing electrical engineering and the fourth person was doing biomedical engineering.

It was a great day and lots of people from the community came and it was even filmed for BBC Alba.

Computer Engineering Endeavour

A computer engineer is someone who writes codes/debugs a computer. Debugging is the process of identifying and removing errors from computer hardware or software. The code in the computer is a language which the computer understands and will follow the commands given. The computer needs commands to have the ability to do anything. If the computer didnt have commands, you wouldn’t even be able to switch it on.

For my Endeavour I am making a webpage from scratch. To do this, I dont have everything setup for me like a webpage creator online. To do it first you open notepad, then save it as something like your name, but after you’ve written your name, type .html, then open the file. You will have to write code into the notepad to make it appear in the webpage. However, If you want to write code in it, just research it. My webpage isnt currently online, but I am still working on it.

An electronic engineer would be the person who make the computer itself but a computer engineer is the one who makes everything on the computer work. If you press the window button, search cmd, then right click it, and select open as administrator, you can change some of the computer settings. It is possible to break the computer through the command window however, so be careful on what you type in. Its better to research all the possibilities of it so you know what things you can do and what they do.

What I think I am learning from my endeavour will help me be a computer engineer in the future. I could also be a webpage creator or a games designer.

PEPS school swimming

Each Thursday for 6 weeks we go to Bowmore and we go in the swimming pool.  P5/6/7 go to the pool and we go up and down the lanes and do different this like backstroke or front stroke.  When we go in the pool we play a warm up game at the end we do some different things like the mushroom float or the pencil float. After we have done everything we get a 5 minute time play around in the water. After the 6 weeks, we have a swimming gala.  We really enjoy getting to do swimming for PE.

Port Ellen Primary P6/7 Engineering

P6/7 are learning about engineering. We have drawn and annotated a picture of a engineer and discussed what and engineer is. We have found out different types of engineers there are (electrical, biotechnology, chemical engineers, etc.)  We have watched a video of a engineer and videos on what an engineer is. We have done research about a type of engineer and we wrote the facts down on a piece of paper.

We have found out that you need to be good at linear algebra to be a computer engineer. We also found out that that coding engineers work with a lot of other types of coding engineers, such as programmers.  We can’t wait to do some of our own engineering.  Watch the video on engineering below…

 

Generation Science visit with Lego Mindstorms

On Monday 13th March we programmed robots when we had a visit from Generation Science for National Science Week.

The robots were made of Lego but they had a device on them. The device was what made the robots do what it was programmed to do, a micro processor. We had to get a computer then make programs on it. We had to add settings on an app on the computer then make it move forward by clicking a arrow facing forward and then add more setting and click on a stop button to make it stop.

Once we made the programs we had to get a cord then plug one end into the computer and the other into the robot. We then had to press a button on the computer to transport the programs onto the robot. Once the robot was programmed you had to take it to a race track to get it tested and if the robot passed the test, you can go onto the next challenge. The next challenge was to make it go forward then go backwards for 3 seconds. We had to make a new setting on the computer which had a backward arrow on it and then make it go backward for 3 seconds by clicking a button and writing 3 seconds down. We then tested it out again on the race track and then we got another challenge.

The challenge was to keep all the program but make it rotate.To do that we added a new setting and put it before the stop setting. we then just put rotate to 75 and then tested it out. For the next challenge we had to remove all our current programs then add new. We had to make it go forward and then dodge barrels then go back on track and make it to the end of the track. It was hard because we could not use any senses so it could not dodge barrels just by seeing the barrels so we had to judge the time it would take to hit the barrels. Not many people made it past the challenge and eventually we had to stop. We then had a few minutes to give our robot some programs and make it dance. We had a robot dance battle  but they were no winners.