Our focus in Science this week is learning about the six Noonjar seasons. We are currently in Kambarang, the season of wildflowers. Mrs Cogger found this youtube about the six seasons and it explains why the Noonjar people moved every two months.
We then investigated St Emilie’s Bushland looking for signs that is was now the Kambarang season.
Here are some of the indicators that we are in the Kambarang season.
Banksia attenuata is flowering
Kangaroo Paws have almost finished flowering.
I loved looking for new signs and wildflife and discovering new plants and animals. Also discovering why and what insects make houses and how they catch their prey. Kian and Luke H
There is an increase in heat and the animals and insects hide in the shade. Norah and Samara.
It would be much cooler on the coast for the Noonjar people than inland. Joanna and Chloe
To move away from the heat so that they can swim, fish and keep cool. Jessica H and Lyana
How the animals are behaving. Changes to the stars, creeks, lakes and rivers. Ione and Antonio
National Water Week is held in October each year to help us understand and take action to protect and conserve our precious water resources and habitats. As a registered Waterwise School, St Emilie’s always celebrates this week by educating our students about the value and conservative use of water.
The theme for National Water Week this year is ‘Water – the Heart of our Culture’ which encourages young people to explore how water shapes our everyday lives through recreational activities, the natural world and our community values. The focus here at St Emilie’s was the value of water to the Western Australian lifestyle.
The week was a call to action, challenging us all to make changes to our day-to-day lives to protect this essential resource which shapes almost everything we do. It also gives us a huge opportunity to start conversations and encourage people to learn more about the technologies and the people that keep our taps running and ensure Australia has a sustainable water future to support our economy and our communities.
Below are a few of the Waterwise learning experiences that were offered in Science this week.
The Year One students investigated ‘dripping taps’ around the school. And they found one in Year 5!! We predicted how much water would be collected from the drip and marked this on bucket.
Then we left the bucket under the drip to collect the water while we went back to class to do our work. Here are our findings.
We had a discussion about what we can do if we see a dripping tap. ‘Turn it off!’ were the replies. However, Olivia in 1G informed us all that if the drip won’t stop then, ‘call a plumber!’
We didn’t wish to waste our collected water so Mrs O’Donnell carefully poured the water onto the lawn.
Our Year 2 students did some work on their potato crops. It was time to ‘mound up’ the soil around the potatoes. Mr Cogger assists us by managing the sprinklers and turning them on, only on our designated watering days here at St Emilie’s.
Our Year 5 and 6 students learned about our big blue planet and how much ‘fresh water’ is actually available for drinking, growing food and keeping plants and animals alive. It works out that there is about 2%. This helps us to understand the importance of water conservation and why in our drying climate in WA we need to look after our most precious resource.
This week our 6B students had an incursion with Joel Booth from Murdoch Science Outreach. A crime scene investigation was brought to life in this workshop. The students explored the chemical properties (such as solubility and pH) of different white powders and then used their reasoning skills to identify an unknown substance recovered from a crime scene.
The workshop commenced with Joel putting on his white lab coat and talking to the students about the investigation.
Here are some images of the students using the pH indicator to identify which colour their solution matched with on the pH scale.
Each team of students had four powders to investigate.
The students also did an iodine test with Betadine to test their powder for starch.
The final activity was to identify two ‘mystery powders’ and then use their skills from the first part of the lesson to work out what these powders were. Each team had success with this as they were able to work out what their powders were.
Joel will be returning to St Emilie’s next week to conduct the investigation with 6G. It was a great experience for the students to work with a chemical sciences student and to hear about Joel’s experiences in the lab and his plans for a career in chemical sciences.
Today our delightful Year 3 students received a presentation form Natasha and Janine from the Backyard Bandicoots research program at Murdoch University. Mrs Cogger has been liaising with Murdoch University about our own bandicoot living in St Emilie’s Bushland and she was keen to encourage the researchers to come out to the school for a visit.
The visit commenced with a powerpoint presentation about ‘Quendas’ which is the Noonjar word for the Southern Brown Bandicoot which is using our bushland habitat. Here are a few photos of the powerpoint presentation.
Natasha showed the students the night activation camera that they use to record images and videos of bandicoots.
Mrs Cogger was excited to be using the Learning Hub for the first time.
Click on the link below to hear Natasha explain how big a bandicoot is.
The students have been learning about Quendas during Science so they were confident at answering the questions posed to them by Natasha.
The students were also keen to share their bandicoot habitats that were constructed in Science this term.
Natasha and Janine shared a digital game with the students. Each student had their own Mac on which to play the game. In the game the bandicoot explored a bushland habitat and the students had to answer questions to move to the next level.
To conclude the visit Natasha and Janine played a quiz with the students. The students who answered correctly received a ‘bandicoot card’.
Click on the links below to hear Louis and Thomas share what they enjoyed most about the visit.
Mrs Cogger would like to sincerely thank Natasha and Janine from Murdoch University for coming to share their knowledge and research with the students. Both Natasha and Janine have given Mrs Cogger some ideas on how we can continue with this project with possible ideas for further investigations about the behaviour of Quendas.
Each program is designed to provide students who have an interest in science with an opportunity to engage in a wide range of fascinating science activities under the guidance of scientists who love their work.
Here are a few images to show the types of science experiences offered on the program.
If you think you your teenager would be interested click on the link below to find out more about the program.
Here are the program dates and costs for WA.
Today the Year 2B students planted their potato crop assisted with ‘military precision’ by Mr Cogger. Mr Cogger dug the rows for us and even set out little markers so that the seed potatoes will be evenly spaced.
Here are a few photos of our students enjoying the experience. They were so excited and bursting to get out there! 🙂
As part of our commitment to the Waterwise Schools program we are invited to submit our learning activities to their Ripple Effect page. Ripple Effect is about sharing our water education activities, exploring what other schools are doing and voting for our favourites!
Please click on this link and you will be taken to the Ripple Effect page where you can vote for St Emilie’s Year One students.
The media this week has been covering many new Science innovations as part of it’s coverage about National Science Week. Here at St Emilie’s we also celebrated this exciting learning area. Enjoy these few images and clips about our experiences this week.
Our major event was by invitation to the CSIRO STEM in Schools ‘virtual classroom’ that took place this morning. By invitation only, through our involvement in Scientists and Mathematicians in Schools, we were included in a webinar/virtual classroom with a panel of Australians working in the space industry.
Our Year 5 students prepared their own questions to ask the panel and we submitted these for consideration last week. Here are a few of the ideas that we proposed to the panel-
Joshua P– Is it possible for the space junk to come back to earth?
Joshua D – How many times have there been a space disaster on a satellite? How far is the furthest satellite from Earth? What is the most common piece of material in space? How long does it approximately take to make a satellite or rocket ship?
Emmy M– What age was the youngest person ever to go into space?
Meilee R – Do you need to go up there and collect all the space junk?
Francheska D – Have you found any other planets that we humans could also live on?
Joanna T– What was the laser invented for in the first place? What was its purpose when it was first made?
Annette C – How does it space junk stay near Earth without falling back to Earth? What would happen if we didn’t have an ozone layer?
Drew M – Is it possible to go to a different planet and still return? Do you think that there are some undiscovered planets? In NASA who are the most important people for scientific breakthroughs?
Luke H – Could you make something that clears or sucks up all the space junk? How long does it take to reach Mars? Would people be able to live on Kepler?
Enjoy these images of our experience this morning.
The Year 5 students all ready and keen for the ‘virtual classroom’ event to begin.
We heard the answers to questions presented by students from schools all over Australia.
St Emilie’s were lucky to be acknowledged in a ‘shout out’ to schools invited to the webinar. Click on this link and you can view some of the webinar.
Here are some the other lessons that occurred during National Science Week.
The Year 2 students measured the seedling in their Future Garden made from a recycled soft drink bottle.
The students in 5B enjoyed a visit with Gina Pearse from the Mildew Mania project at Curtin University. She also treated our students to a few gifts to celebrate National Science Week.
The Year 4 students are learning about the diversity of bird species that inhabit the school bushland. They are in the process of making their own bird feeders so that they can entice birds into their own gardens at home.
Year 6 students are investigating ocean acidification. The students conducted an investigation with two marine shells placed in different solutions.
Year one students explored the value of water and how it is a vital necessity for life.
Happy National Science Week to all…