This term in Primary 4, our context is Polar Explorers. So far, we have learned about Antarctica and the Arctic, their climates, the explorers who have been there and people who live there.
As part of our learning about explorers, we investigated what materials would be good for keeping a polar explorer warm. We tested our materials (bubble wrap, plastic wool, tin foil and fleece) around bottles of warm water and checked the temperature every 2 minutes. We compared the insulated bottles with a control bottle. The temperature of the control bottle dropped a lot but the insulated bottles only dropped by a few degrees. Surprisingly, the tin foil was the best insulator in the end. Most of us had predicted that the plastic wool would be best!
We have also been learning about Inuit people who live in the Arctic and how they survive the extreme environment. We learned that Inuit don’t actually live in igloos- they actually live in wooden houses. However, they will build igloos if they are travelling and need a shelter. We watched this video http://http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/humanplanetexplorer/environments/arctic#p009lv1r and were amazed that Inuit can build an igloo in only 30 minutes, even though it is freezing cold! Inspired by the video, we tried to build our own miniature igloos. We used mini marshmallows as bricks, polystyrene cups and PVA glue. It was really fun but a real challenge not to eat the marshmallows!
We are looking forward to learning about polar animals next week!