On Tuesday 29th of July the Pre Primary students took part in a planting expedition! We were very privileged to have Deb from Sercul provide a variety of native seedlings for us to plant in our bushland. Many parents volunteered their time to help us with weeding and planting. We were allowed behind the white ropes of our play area and had to walk very gently inside the bush, ensuring we didn’t trample any special plants. It gave us a great opportunity to explore and we discovered a kangaroo paw flower starting to bloom and a rare spider orchid. We even found a snail that was busy laying eggs! A big thank you to our wonderful parents (and siblings Indie and Alice!) for their time and assistance and to Deb for providing our seedlings and much knowledge. A big thank you to Mrs Cogger for organising the morning and for sharing her love of our banksia bushland. We had a fantastic time!
Some of our year 5 Science Inquiry students spent Friday morning with Cath Cooper from Urban Bushland Council WA, learning about the different species of native plants that are growing right here in the St Emilie’s Bushland! Students were highly motivated and followed Cath’s lead as we toured our bushland, recording important details about the species we found along the way. The students will be using their findings to create an ‘eco-gram’. This eco-gram will feature in the presentation to parents later on this term. Cath is a highly valued ‘resource’ in our school, and she is teaching us all much about the importance of conserving our bushland and helping us to learn more about our local flora and fauna. Cath will be visiting on several occasions this semester to work with the year 5 science inquiry group and we feel very lucky indeed!
The Banksia is Cath’s most favourite plant. Can you work out who named the plant ‘Banksia’? (It has something to do with one of our early explorers to Australia!)
Above: We really love the enthusiasm of this little group – madly taking in everything Cath has to share!
While we were talking about the bushland one of the parents in PP observed an owl in our bushland. Yes – an OWL!! Both Mr Cogger and I have spotted the owl in the trees this week. This is very exciting news as it shows that the health of the bushland is improving, enough to encourage native fauna to return. I’ve done some research on the internet about common owls in the south west of WA and we think our owl is a Southern Boobook Owl.
Stay tuned for more info on our Wise Eyed Owl!
And finally let’s remember….
“It’s not what the world holds for you. It’s what you bring to the world”.
Visit from Mr Sayer – Scientists in Schools
By Estelle Chan 6B
On the 12th June the year 6B class had a special visit from Mr Sayer. Mr Sayer is a mechanical engineer. He came to St Emilie’s to teach us about mechanics. We learned about the triangular truss. The truss is very supportive and a good way to hold up an object such as a bridge or bicycle. We learned that the triangle shape is the strongest and can support the most weight.
We also learned about compression and tension. Compression is when you push an object in or together, for example a spring. If you push it in and store it is known as potential energy. Potential energy is when something is stored and has energy in it. So if you opened the can with the spring in it, the spring will use energy and spring up into the air. This is like a trampoline. When you come down the springs use the energy to spring you up into the air.
Tension is when you pull of stretch something too far. If you pull an object as much as you can you will eventually snap it because it wouldn’t be able to take on all the pressure (also known as tension). For example, if you keep on pulling a streamer as far as you can, it would snap in half. It is also like stretching a rubber band. If you keep on yanking on it, it will expand and snap.
Another thing we learned from Mr Sayer was that a piece of paper could actually hold a few things and quite a bit of weight. We learned that if you fold or change the way of your paper to hold up items it would actually stay up for the way you have constructed it. So basically we now know that if we just change the way or if we construct our item differently if will be able to hold some weight.
Mr Sayer then taught us about solar energy. We know the Sun produces heat and light. When the Sun hits the panels, the panels collect the heat in a space just inside and under the panels. When the panels get the heat it’s known as heat energy. When it is waiting to be used it is known as potential energy.
We also learned how electricity is made. Mr Sayer showed us that if you get two magnets and another material and rub them together you could make electricity. We also learned about circuits. If you flip the switch on the light it will create a circuit. If you switch it off you will cut the circuit. To make the circuit it all has to b joined together. If there is a gap in the circuit there will be no electricity.
We also learned, step-by-step, how a can and a plastic bottle are formed. Mr Sayer taught us quite a lot of techniques and strategies that none of us knew about. We were all amazed with the clear and outstanding experiments. It was as if we were in Scitech. We learned some new information and a lot more about science. This presentation was amazing. It was a great experience to have Mr Sayer visit us.
Next term we look forward to learning about pressure with Mr Sayer.
St Emilie’s has a new Scientist in Schools partner called Mr Chris Sayer!
Mr Sayer is a retired Mechanical Engineer who has agreed to come and work with some of our extension science students in science and maths. For maths buffs, he will be talking Fibonacci numbers and the golden ratio theory and in science we are looking into compressive forces and explore how a structure supports a load.
Science by Email is a free online newsletter produced by the CSIRO for students, teachers and anyone with an interest in science. Lots of great reading, simple experiments and more for children and families to explore! We hope you check it out!
Below are links to how to subscribe and to this month’s newsletter – have fun!
Press here for a free email subscription to Science by Email
Science by Email 16th May 2014
In addition, if you are looking for some fabulous reading material for your children, perhaps a birthday subscription to either the Scientiffic Magazine (ages 7 – 10 years) or the Helix Magazine (ages 10 +)?
Click here to register for the Scientriffic Magazine
Click here to register for the Helix Magazine
See some samples from these fabulous magazines below!
Scientriffic Sample Article
The Helix Sample Article