Tag Archives: Critical Thinking Skills

Wind Turbine Challenge!

As part of our topic work, we have been learning about Renewable and Non Renewable energy sources.  We discussed the advantages and disadvantages of these and which ones would work best in Shetland.

Last week, we worked in teams to design and create a wind turbine using a selection of materials.  The turbine had to turn when  we used a hair dryer on it and it also had to lift a plastic cup!  Lots of things to consider in their designs!

It was lovely to watch everyone interacting and taking turns to contribute.  Everyone showed consideration towards the ideas shared and compromises were made as to what the design would look like and how it would work.

It was important to try little tests now and again, to check if any changes needed to be made.  Some groups found that when the hair dryer was switched on, the blades of their turbine were not strong enough and required further reinforcement.  Some found that there blades were the wrong size or shape and some discovered that they needed to attach their cup differently so that it would lift without getting tangled in the turbine blades.  Lots of learning going on!

We tested all the designs and everyone had the chance to add their thoughts on what they thought had worked well and what could be done to improve their designs further.  I was impressed with how the children were able to make suggestions in a such a positive, caring and considerate way.  Look out world…some future engineers here!

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Today Mrs Douglas did a science experiment with the class to find out which material would work best to black out our windows during an air raid in World War 2.

We had 4 materials to choose from.  We made a hypothesis, writing down which materials would be most effective or which materials would be least effective.

Then we attached the materials to the windows and went outside to test them.  From inside the classroom , Mrs Henderson shone a torch behind each material and we had to see if any light could be seen on the other side of the window.

The red cellophane was the least effective and we were surprised to find that the light was blocked by the white paper!


In P5/6 we have been creating a list of things we would like to use at playtime.  Our budget is £60, so we need to try to find the best deal for each item on our list.

We have been learning how to navigate around shopping websites, using filters so that we can find exactly what we are looking for.  We found out that it was important to check how many items were being advertised and to compare products.  Some products were very cheap but the delivery charge was very high!

Ethan discovered that if he looked a little further and narrowed his search a little more, he was able to find 3 basket balls for the same price as 1 in an earlier search.  Well done Ethan!

Ava and Freya thought they had found a great deal on chunky chalk with 100 pieces in the pack!  It’s a good job they read the reviews as that particular product had a low rating with lots of complaints!  Well done for spotting that girls!

We have noted down all of the things that we think could be bought and now we have to add it all up to check that we are within our £60 budget.  Fingers crossed!

Fiona was looking for chunky chalk to use at playtime. She tried to find the best deal by looking at how many were in a pack, the price and the delivery charge.

STEM – final challenge!

Today was our last STEM session with Emma Chittick this year. The children were asked to use all of the knowledge and skills gained over the past couple of weeks to build something that would generate electricity. Everyone was raring to get started and it didn’t take long for their designs to take shape!

Some made wind turbines, some used solar cells, while some used both in the same structure. It was great to see the children interacting and problem solving together to try and achieve success. I was very proud to see everyone working so well as a team and providing support for each other. Well done P5/6!

Rocket launch day!!

We’ve had a super morning today launching our bottle rockets at the sports pitch!

The pupils have been using our learning on forces – notably friction, air resistance and thrust – to try and adjust their own bottles to build the best rocket design possible. There have been some variations in style and we have all been looking forward to the day when we finally got to test them out…

We set a challenge to see which group could get their rocket to fly the furthest.

Becca and Hannah were the winners with a magnificent 24metres!

Once all of the groups had launched their rockets for distance the ones who struggled with coverage were given the chance to “take to the sky”.

It was a lovely, slightly chilly, morning and a fantastic way to extend our learning outside the classroom. I hope the pupils enjoyed the activity as much as I did – though they did work me hard with the hand pump and I did get a little wet a few times …

Terrific Scientific

Feet investigation!

On Thursday we started our next Terrific Scientific investigation

We all know our feet are important. But does where we live and the terrain we walk on affect our foot flexibility? That’s what we’re going to be discovering in this investigation!

We’ll develop our investigative skills and gather evidence through doing things and taking note of what happens.

The evidence we collect will be sent to the University of Kent so they can use it in their scientific research.

The measuring was quite challenging, but we have almost finished and then our results will be on the interactive map.

Climate Comic Contest

Today Ms Scanlan received a reply to the class’ entries that she sent into the competition.

Dear Gina,

I want to say thank you SO much for organizing a workshop with your students (we gave you a shout out in many of our communications within UNICEF)! We would like to give a special mention to Jessica’s submission of Frozo Girl, which was absolutely wonderful . It was such a difficult decision to choose just 20 finalists as we had so many amazing submissions…

Thank you very much for applying for the Climate! Comic! Contest!

It was amazing to see how many passionate and creative young people showed interest in this opportunity. Collectively, your applications showed us just how important climate action is to your generation, and left us feeling very inspired and hopeful that we can make a difference by working together.

Unfortunately, we regret to inform you that your entries were not selected as one of the contest finalists. We received so many great applications – nearly 3,000 in total – and in the end we could only select a small number of finalists. Please do not be discouraged by this decision, keep up with the good work and consider getting involved with us in other ways!



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NEW YORK, 6 November 2017 – UNICEF today announced the finalists for its inaugural Climate Comic Contest for which children and youth were invited to design and submit comic characters with special powers to fight climate change. The 20 finalists were selected from among 2,895 total submissions from young people across 99 countries.
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And this is from the website…

NEW YORK, 6 November 2017 – UNICEF today announced the finalists for its inaugural Climate Comic Contest for which children and youth were invited to design and submit comic characters with special powers to fight climate change. The 20 finalists were selected from among 2,895 total submissions from young people across 99 countries.

Comic characters designed by each of the 20 finalists will be featured on the contest website for the duration of COP23 from 6 to 17 November. Members of the public can visit the website and vote for their favourite character. The character who receives the most votes will be declared the winner and will go on to be featured in a full-length professional comic book. Voting closes 17 November at 11:59 EST and the winner will be announced on November 30th.

The Climate Comic Contest was created by UNICEF to inspire and engage children and youth to take climate action through the creative medium of comic design. The tremendous turnout for the contest is already showing world leaders that young people take the threat of climate change seriously.

“We are so thrilled with all of the submissions for the Climate Comic Contest because it shows how engaged young people all over the world are in the issue of climate change,” said Natabara Rollosson, Co-Founder of Comics Uniting Nations. “We encourage the public to keep up the enthusiasm and support for the young people who have participated in the contest by voting for their top finalist.”

During COP23 in Bonn, Germany, top superheroes will also be presented to the UN Membership, broadcasted on Bonn public transport, and displayed at the conference. The goal is to show the world the creative superpowers young people possess to protect the planet, while urging decision-makers to include children and youth in climate action.

The 20 contest finalists are from 19 different countries, including Bahrain, Canada, Cuba, China, Croatia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Pakistan, the Republic of Korea, South Africa, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, the U.K., U.S. and Uzbekistan.

More information on the contest, including superhero descriptions and artwork from the finalists, is available on the contest website: uni.cf/climatecomic.