Tag Archives: Practical activities

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!

STEM

This term we are looking at renewable energy so we invited Emma Chittick into our class to work on a few STEM projects linked to our learning. In week 1, the children were challenged to build a wind turbine using Lego. When their structures were ready, everyone had a trial run and were given time to make any necessary alterations to their design. It was very exciting waiting to see if it would turn with the wind from the fan! We measured how much electricity was produced from each design.

In week 2 the class were asked to build a structure with solar panels that would capture natural light and artificial light. This meant that they had to design a structure that could change the angle of the solar panel. Again, they were given a trial run, then a fair test with the same conditions for each group. During our testing, we quickly realised one disadvantage when relying on solar energy. The position of the sun moved as we were testing at our classroom windowsill, resulting in less direct natural sunlight for some of the tests.

Keep a look out for the final challenge next week!

Rocket Launch!

Last week P5/6 had a visit from The Edinburgh Royal Observatory.  We learned about the work that goes on there and were even lucky enough to touch a piece of equipment that has actually travelled into space!

Then it was time to make our own rockets and launch them outside!  It was very exciting!!

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 …

Engineers in the making

This term we have been exploring forces. Using this knowledge and understanding we spent the morning designing and constructing our own bottle rockets.

The pupils were working in pairs to design a rocket that they thought would be aerodynamic and light, but withstand enough pressure to create optimum thrust (and distance) for launch day.

We are looking forward to finishing the project at the beginning of the next term and seeing who’s rocket performed the best on launch day!

French in the sunshine

Today we took advantage of the beautiful weather and used the multicourt to cement our recent French learning. The pupils competed in a game of dictation.

They had to run to the opposite side of the court to read a French phrase, try to memorise it and repeat to their awaiting team members – correct spelling and pronunciation was key as they later found when peer assessing their efforts in class.

The pupils really enjoyed the activity and are looking forward to playing it again in the future – next time some will focus on the attention to detail and not just the speed.

Balloon rockets

This afternoon we have been building on our understanding of forces. We began the afternoon with discussions over what forces are and how they are used to propel rockets to space. We also looked at the impact friction, air and water resistance have on movement of objects.

These discussions then created more interest on rocket launches, with questions of how is a rocket launched and what happens when it goes wrong? We watched a few video clips to gain a better understanding.

After this, it was our chance to put some of this learning into action with investigations into how size and material (friction) impact on the distance a balloon rocket travels along a “track”.

This will form the foundations for further understanding and applications of our forces investigations.

 

 

Paper bridges

This morning we worked in pairs to see how strong we could make a bridge using only paper …

We investigated how a simple activity of adding folds or additional support structures could greatly increase the mass that one piece of paper could support.

Some then explored how this differed if we used card instead of paper.

There was a clear buzz in the classroom during the activity and it was great to see so many groups working so well together.

Well done P5/6

STEM Activities

There has been much excitement this term for both myself and the P5/6 pupils as we have started  our 4 week block of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) sessions with Emma Chittick, from Skills Development Scotland (SDS).

SDS are trying to encourage more pupils to consider future STEM careers by introducing them to ‘fun’ STEM activities through the latter years of primary school.

All pupils have been working really hard and enjoying the challenges set by Emma. So far we have used our coding skills to get our robots to orbit the Earth. Some of us were able to simulate a launch and change from a small orbit to a large orbit. This week we looked at “space junk” – we were able to programme the robots to orbit the Earth and divert around an obstacle to prevent dammage to our satellite.

 

 

I think the below comments from the pupils show how much they are enjoying this activity.

“STEM is really good” – Frankie

“STEM is really good because we get to learn with robots. I enjoy learning different things to do.” – Isabel and Kelsi.

“It’s good because it’s about robotics.” – Robert and Ronan

“We are enjoying it. It is fun” – Carla and Kayla

“It is quite hard at the moment but it’s fun.” – Robbie and Lucien

“It’s good, I love it, it’s my favourite thing to do.” – Amy