National Science Week was held nationally across Australia last week. There was a celebration of wonderful events. Mrs Cogger encouraged the students to attend the Patterns of Science Expo at Kent St Weir. She was delighted to hear from several students that they had attended the event with their families. In the past a former student from St Emilie’s has won the logo competition. It was great to hear from the students about the different Science activities and Scientists that they met at the expo.
On the school front we had our own week of celebrating Science learning. Here are a few glimpses of our very busy week with all classes involved in some ‘full on/hands on’ activities this past week.
Year 2 students make their own Sand Playdough.
The students are learning the difference between combining materials and mixing materials and why each method produces different results.
Year 4 students set up their Decomposition Investigation
The students are learning how natural and processed materials have properties that make them useful for different purposes; knowledge of the properties of materials helps people to understand how to use them effectively. The students worked in their cooperative teams to bury four different materials. The students will record how these materials change over time.
The Year 6 students conducted four different investigations to explore chemical and physical changes.
Some of the questions we considered were
Is the matter changing state?
Is the matter producing bubbles, change in colour, or change in smell?
Is the substance changing in shape or form?
And finally Year 1. We continued to investigate and explore ‘stretching’. We investigated several different materials in our discovery box. Next week we will be stretching ‘jelly snakes’.
One of the great things about the St Emilie’s Science Program is how we network and integrate with local and community groups. Last week we planted seed potatoes provided by Fresh Potatoes WA and we also enjoyed an informative visit from Chris Sayer, mechanical engineer, through the Scientists in Schools initiative. Today the Year 5 students were involved in a bushland conservation project. SERCUL donated 180 native tube stock plants and these were used in our bushland replanting project.
Deb Taborda from SERCUL explaining to the Year 5 students about the tube stock and how to plant them.
The students worked in teams to remove identified weeds and also Victorian Tea tree seedlings that are a known pest in the bushland. Then they cleared a patch of soil in readiness to plant their tube stock.
Mr Holtom helps the students remove some of the larger Victorian Tea Trees.
Mr Cogger encouraged Mrs Cogger to purchase a gadget called a Hamilton Tree Planter using the profits made from the sale of our veggies. This was a handy tool to use in the tougher areas.
The students called it the ‘Pogo Stick’.
Mr Cogger is going to set up ‘tree guard slips’ (like in the image below) around the tube stock. There are 180 to be done so if you have some time available and could help out with this task it would be much appreciated. I can guarantee that you will enjoy your time in the bush. Please make contact with Mr or Mrs Cogger or the Front Office and we will sort out a suitable time with you to do this task.
We are planning to purchase the tree guard slips as displayed in the image above.
Here are a few more photos of today’s activities.
It was productive morning and a big thanks to Deb Taborda from SERCUL and our parent volunteers for all of their hard work and assistance with the project.
Mr Sayer spent an afternoon with 6G this week sharing his knowledge about the ‘elasticity and strength of materials’. We looked closely at ‘trusses’ and the best designs and shapes used to construct bridges. The students constructed their own columns and beams and then conducted a ‘fair test’ to investigate the strength of their construction.
Our next topic was learning about ‘force and pressure’. Mr Sayer demonstrated this to us using a 2 litre paint can.
Enjoy the movie below of the students observing this fabulous investigation. Click on the link to open the movie.
The year one students had a special visitor today. Mrs Felicity Bradshaw is the author of ‘Be a Bush Scientist’ and also the author of ‘A tale of two honey possums’.
Mrs Bradshaw showed the students how to set pit traps in St Emilie’s Bushland. We started off learning about invertebrates and talking about what we hope to find in the bushland. The students came up with many interesting suggestions. Here are a few of the invertebrates that the students are hoping will fall into the pit traps.
After the presentation and organising the equipment we all headed off to the bushland area. Mr Cogger and I pre-marked out the area with little flags to indicate where each pit trap should be set. Here is a map of the bushland area with the coordinates showing where each trap has been placed.
I am most grateful to Mr Cogger and to the parents who helped out with the activity – it was hard work for little hands to dig in the dirt. Mrs Bradshaw will return to St Emilie’s in a couple of weeks to continue with the pit traps and to discover and identify our findings with us!
Greg Mitchell visited 2G in Science this week and we explored how there is more to lollies that just enjoying their sweet flavour.
Students were placed in teams and asked to select three different coloured ‘gobstoppers’. The gobstoppers were placed in a dish of water and then the students had to WAIT!!
Here are a few images of what happened next.
We wondered why there were clear lines and shapes between each colour.
Then we discussed what other ‘variables’ we could investigate if we were to do this investigation a second time. We decided that we could:
- use a different liquid
- change the temperature of the water
- place more gobstoppers in the dish
- try a different coloured lolly like M & M’s or Smarties
Mrs Cogger also learned a few new teaching strategies and revised a few that she had learned from Greg when he visited her at another school. Thanks for reminding me about ‘numbered heads’ Greg!
A wonderful session of learning for all involved!
2B and 3B have had a very productive week planting this years crop in our school veggie garden.
This week we’ve planted carrots, broad beans and beetroot. Thank you to all the parents who volunteered their time to help the students and myself.
Thanks too to Mr Cogger for preparing the garden beds in readiness for the planting project. Here are a few photos of our happy planting day! Stay tuned 2G and 3G are planting next week!
Today 6B had a visit from Mr Sayer our mentor from the Scientists in Schools initiative.
Mr Sayer facilitated our lesson on force, mass and measurement. He used a variety of materials to demonstrate the concepts and students then worked in their cooperative teams to investigate water pressure.
Each team had a 2L bottle that had three holes in it. We had to investigate and then provide an explanation as to why the water flowed out at different rates.
In Year 4 and 5 we are learning about the wonderful world of coral reef ecosystems! To deepen our knowledge and appreciation of how delicate and interrelated these ecosystems are it would be really wonderful if you and your children were able to watch a program that was screened on the ABC last week. You can access the program on ABC iview until the 15th March. It is G rated and runs for about 50 mins – so a great thing to do as a whole family!
Here is a link to the program on ABC iview:
Science Specialist Teacher
This term the year 4 and 5 classes will be learning about the marine waters and the wide variety of fish that inhabit our beautiful coastline of the WA coast. Students are asked to bring in a fishing trip photo if possible and to record details about their catch such as:
- the size and weight of the fish
- where it was caught
- the type of rig they used
- the type of bait
- the type of marine ecosystem/habitat where the fish was caught
- whether the fish was kept or released.
There is no set date for this activity. Students can bring in their photo to share with the class throughout the term.