We have had a great week finding out about the STEM subjects including experiments and challenges in the classroom; visits to Culzean and workshops with the rangers; workshops in school from engineers and Belmont teachers and visiting Ayr college. We finished off our week with our STEM Fayre. Here are a selection of photos further photos can be found on the twitter feed.
Yesterday, our Primary 6 visited Dumfries House. They found out all about satellites and then worked in teams to design and create their very own. Each group tested how far their satellite flew. There was even time for a play in the snow!
Earlier this week our P7s went to visit the Sky Academy to find out how a news report is put together. They had the opportunity of putting their creative and collaborative skills into action to produce an information report about the damage plastics are doing to our oceans and what we can do to help this.
Earlier this week, Holmston hosted the final of the Primary Engineer competition. Schools from all over Ayrshire participated in partnership with GE Caledonia and we had two successful teams. Our P5 team achieved Best Communicators at the Engineer Level and our P3 team were runners up in the Apprentice Level. The cars they made had to go through a series of challenges. The engineers also arranged a visit from a jet engine for us to look at.
On Friday 7th September, the P6 visited Culzean Castle to study biodiversity as part of their Science topic. This is what they had to say about the trip:
“We went pond dipping and we caught newts in the pond. We went deep into the forest to look at the diversity of plants and animals. We had two rangers, Ian and Kate, who taught us about biodiversity.” Jayden and Scott
“When we arrived at Culzean we went on a walk with our ranger, Kate. we were identifying leaves. I found a lime and a beech leaf. Then we looked at invasive plants: rhododendron and bamboo. Bamboo has a great story! We have no pandas in Scotland but years ago the people that lived in Culzean wanted to look fancy because wealthy people grew bamboo. To get rid of an invasive plant you have to remove all the roots. When we went pond dipping we found newts, leeches and waterboatmen. We even found two rare newts!” Charlotte
Well done to our Digital Leaders for representing Holmston at the Cluster Mindstorm Competition. They demonstrated their programming knowledge before delivering a presentation on Water Consumption and then finally getting their robot through some very tricky challenges. Thank you to Miss Bell for running the lunchtime club and to Kincaidston Primary for organising and hosting.
Your education should help you use and develop your talents and abilities. It should also help you learn to live peacefully, protect the environment and respect other people.
P6 had a fantastic day today finding out about biodiversity at Culzean Country Park. Highlights of the day included pond dipping, Daniel enjoyed examining the skulls of the animals and Hattie caught one of the predators in the pond – a beetle with sharp pincers. I look forward to reading about the day in their school blog soon.
Well done to our two P7 teams that made it through to the final challenge at the town hall earlier this week. They showed off their drone-inspired aircraft and then had a live challenge to design a winch to transport people to and from the aircraft. The pupils had to utilise a range of creativity and employability skills to identify a workable solution to this problem. Both teams were presented with certificates by Mr Hutchinson, the Head of the Education Service.
Well done also goes to Arnar. His design for the ‘I’m an Engineer’ logo was chosen to go on the certificates.
Holmston’s ‘Big Splash’ launched today with the P6 visiting Millport and the P1 and 2s going to Culzean. We also had visitors from Ayr Port to teach us all about the jobs that are needed to ensure that the ships dock and can be loaded or unloaded. We also had representatives from BAE systems to show us how naval ships are designed and built. They told us about the many different jobs from designers and builders to bakers and doctors that all contribute to getting a ship to sail.
Earlier in the year we had a visit from ScotlandTranServ. Mr Stewart visited the school with a gritter and taught the pupils about winter services and how the gritters keep motorists on the move during the winter months as well as learning about the affect of salt on the ice. He set a competition to name two of the new gritters – well done to Megan and Piper for their winning ideas!
The pupils had a fantastic time showing off their STEM skills and knowldege at our STEM Fayre last Friday. There was a great turn-out of parents and family members to support the event and try their hand at some of the experiments and puzzles. Visitors commmented on the enthusiasm of our scientists, engineers, technicians and mathematicians of the future!
This week we had a visit from engineer, Wendy Pring of KCP Environemental who is a Civil Engineer, and the managing director of the company along with her husband. She was inspiring and talked to the pupils about STEM careers that will be around when they are leaving school. Developments like the Spaceport in Prestiwck. She also told us about an engineer in Prestwick who has discovered that he can produce a plastic type cover for packaging out of the 90% waste that comes from shellfish. She also told us about how they are using shredded vehicle tyres mixed with tarmac for road and palypark surfacing. Very inspiring.
Today, P6 released their alevins back into the River Ayr. The class have been carefully monitoring the water temperature and watching the young trout hatch from their eggs and grow. But it was time to set them free. Struan and Gordon from the Ayrshire River Trust came back to help release them and answer any questions. You can see more about this project in the P6 class blog.
We have had a really busy week in school. On Tuesday, We had a visit from Ross Mackenzie, prize-winning author of “The Nowhere Emporium” and “Shadowsmith“. He worked with the P3, 4 and 5s to help them develop their writing and maybe help inspire our pupils to become authors too!
Meanwhile, the P6s had a visit from Gordon and Struan from the Ayrshire River Trust to start a project on hatching trout in the classroom. They showed the class how to fly fish, taught them about the life-cycle of the trout and helped to set up our incubation tank. If the P6 can ensure a steady temperature of 8 degrees for two weeks, Gordon and Struan will bring back 100 trout eggs for us to hatch and release back into the river. This is a very exciting project. You will be able to follow the development of this project on the P6 class blog.
P7 recently attended workshops led by the students at Belmont High School. They found out about physics, chemistry and biology. The most popular activities were using the Bunsen burners to make firework-like effects by burning different materials and using microscopes to examine different items including a fly’s leg!
The Primary 7s from across the Cluster enjoyed a day of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths at Belmont High School. This gave them an opoprutnity to make new friends as well as develop their understanding of a variety of STEM skills. The balloon kebabs and marble run proved to be very popular activities.