Science Day Review  – 27th May 2016

It’s the last day before half term and what better way to celebrate than to have a science day?! Organised by Head of Science, Mrs McKenzie, all teachers have planned a science lesson to excite and teach the children something that they will remember, especially as it’s important to make learning fun and amazing! Mrs McKenzie has also organised for two staff from Denstone College’s Science Department to come in and provide the children with some additional science knowledge, Mrs Sykes and Mrs Westcott and we would like to thank them both for spending time with us today. Listed below are the lessons that the children have had today:

Mr Bettany has been asking the children to make foil boats with as much up-thrust acting on them as possible to enable them to float on top of the water. The children have had fun making their foil boats, floating them on water and adding paperclips to their boats to see which boat was last to sink! The children discussed whether a larger or smaller surface area provides greater up-thrust to counter gravity therefore keeping the boat afloat!

Mr Genders was outside teaching the children about monitoring their heart rates and how to achieve their target heart rate. This was an energetic lesson with the children having to endure a non-stop 6 minutes-worth of activity (not too gruelling) then stop to take their heart rate and finding out the percentage and discussing how they could reach their target of between 60%-80% of their maximum heart rate.
Mrs Westcott from Denstone College has been teaching the children about parachutes; using air resistance, gravity and reducing terminal velocity to make the perfect parachute. The children have used all sorts of methods from bag like constructions to circular and umbrella-like creations and they have been testing them from the top of the staircase to find out whose parachute stays in the air the longest as well as the reasons why.

Mrs Sykes from Denstone College Chemistry Department has been showing the children the power of chemical reactions. The children have been mixing easily accessible products to make a bath bomb. They have been experimenting with colours and smells (deciding not to use vinegar due to its rather potent smell) to make their own bath bombs to take home. The bath bombs are safe to use in their baths and the children will be able to watch the chemical reaction when the bath bomb hits the water.

Mrs Davies has been showing us exactly how dirty our hands are, and that even a brief hand wash can’t always get rid of all the germs on our hands. The children have been using plasticine with a UV glowing harmless substance (pretending that these are germs) which have stuck onto their hands, they have then been looking at the glow that the substance has left on their hands using UV light machine. They have washed their hands and come back to check if the substance can still be seen under UV light, in most cases their hands still showed signs of this substance proving that they needed to wash their hands better in order to get rid of the substance. The children have been shown how to wash their hands thoroughly (with soap and water) to avoid germs remaining on them.

Mrs Emerson-Friend has had such fun outside today in the sunshine. The children have been exploring what makes a good bubble machine/maker and using their knowledge have been making their own bubble maker. I’m sure Mrs Emerson-Friend will agree that this has been hard work for her and the children, running around the garden, having fun and trying to get the biggest and best bubbles. There has been lots of laughter and I’ve overheard a child commenting “this is what science is all about!” After a good 10/15 minutes of “experimenting” with all the plastic manufactured bubble makers they were then set to task to make their very own bubble makers using string and straws, they have had some excellent results, some were circular, some triangular but importantly most of them were able to make bubbles.

Madame Moran, usually our French teacher, donned her science hat on today to teach the children all about germs (and French germs at that) by looking into Monsieur Louis Pasteur and his amazing discovery that germs cause disease. Louis Pasteur was considered a miracle worker of the 19th Century for his study of germs, vaccines and also … crystals! After completing their research in the classroom, the children headed to the kitchen to get some hot water to create a crystal candy tree. The children dissolved two cups of sugar into a cup of hot water and dropped string and paperclips into the sugar solution. The sugar crystals have already started attaching themselves to the paper clips, this will continue to grow over the next few weeks creating the children’s very own crystal garden.

Miss Hart has had some hair raising experiments in her classroom using static electricity! Her classes have been making tissue paper ghost figures and using the power of static electricity (a static charged plastic tube) the children have been making them “dance”. They have also used the static electricity from balloons to push tin cans along their desks, making water change direction of its flow and trying to make thin strands of tinsel and plastic float in the air using an electrically charged plastic tube. Some of the children have come out of this class with rather unruly hair as they’ve used their hair to charge the balloons or plastic tubes with static electricity.

Mrs Belcher was in the Art Department giving the children the choice of being entomologists or producing optical illusion cubes. Some children have opted to draw insects, creating a new creature of their own after briefly looking at Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Others chose to look at how optical illusions are portrayed in Art by producing optical illusion cubes. Not only did they learn about optical illusions but they also learnt how to create depth via toning and shading. They have also been listening to music and watching the water speakers “dance”. The pulse of the music forces the piston up and down inside the speaker which pushes the water (lit up by LED lights) through holes making them look like they’re dancing to the music.

Miss Bennett has been in classes recreating a volcanic eruption in the grounds of Smallwood Manor, luckily on a small scale and with less hazardous materials than lava and rocks erupting out of a volcano. The children have watched how a chemical reaction between substances can recreate something similar to a volcanic eruption and how the effervescence of gasses forces the mixture to “erupt” out of the model.

Mrs Lea has had some fun (and rather a lot of mess) with her classes making their own slime then turning it into magnetic slime and watching how it reacts when a magnet comes close. The children have been mixing pva glue and a special detergent to make slime (with an amazing clean smell!). Once the slime was thick enough (which takes a lot of mixing and kneading) the children have added iron fillings to make the slime magnetic and have had fun with making the slime move towards a very strong magnet.

What a great day to have a Science Day! The weather has been perfect and the children have been able to learn whilst having fun and enjoying themselves. Thank you to all staff for their hard work to make such a memorable day for the children!

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