October 20

STEM – Marshmallow Bridges

Our challenge was to work collaboratively in a small group to build a bridge to span a 10cm gap for 10 seconds without falling into ‘lava’. We could use toothpicks and mini marshmallows. We thought about what we had learned about structures from our spaghetti tower challenges and applied some of these ideas to our bridges.

If our bridge could hold for 10 seconds, it had to then pass a wind test. Ms Kelly blew on it three times. Firstly a light blow, next a medium blow and finally a strong blow. If our bridge passed that test it then had to the pass a load test with a pencil, a marker and finally a ruler. After each object was loaded onto the bridge, it had to hold for three seconds without touching the ‘lava’ below the gap.

We were very excited to test our bridges and were eager to go back and improve our designs. For most groups, our first bridge designs passed the 10 second and wind test but struggled with the load test. When we reflected on our designs and re-tested our new and improved marshmallow bridges, every bridge passed ALL tests.

 

October 20

Reflecting Light

We know light travels in a straight line but can light bend around corners?

Ms Kelly gave us a torch and some mirrors to investigate this question. We worked in groups and tried to reflect the torch light from one mirror to the next, ending back at the first mirror. It was tricky and you needed a steady hand but we worked together and got the torch light to bend as it reflected from one mirror to the next.

October 20

STEM – Improving Our Spaghetti Towers

When we first made our spaghetti towers in term three we found it was difficult for our towers to stand as they kept falling over.

We discussed why this might be so and realised that the tower needed a strong base to make it stable. We looked at how we could add to this base to get some height. Instead of  using playdoh to join the spaghetti, this time we used mini marshmallow which was much easier to work with.

It was still a tricky task but most groups problem solved to re-design and build a tower that could stand on its own. Have a look at our designs below.

October 20

Exploring Shadows

We discovered that our shadow is formed when the sun’s light hits us. The light cannot pass through our body and creates the shadow of our body. We traced around our shadows in the morning and discovered that they were long and all pointed in the one direction. At different times during the day we revisited our outlines and were amazed to find that they had changed each time. They became shorter and then started to get longer again but they also moved to face different directions. This was because the sun was moving across the sky because the earth was always turning.

September 8

Hello, can you hear me?

Making and playing with string telephones helped us to understand that sound can travel through the string as we send messages to each other. Some of us even got to have a four-way conversation by crossing two string telephones. It was important that the strings on both were always touching. It involved a lot of patience and teamwork.

September 8

Hands On Science

 

To help us to learn more about light and sound, Hands On Science came to visit us. What fun we had! Our presenter, Jenelle, had so many experiments for us to try. We learnt about vibrations and sound waves. We listened to how sound travelled through different materials and had fun using a tuning fork. By shining torches on different materials, we discovered more about the words transparent, translucent and opaque. We explored how light bounces off objects and how our eyes see the image upside down. It was exciting to see all the colours of the rainbow as the light passed through a prism. Hands On Science was a great learning experience.

September 8

World of Maths

World of Maths came to our school. There were lots of fun activities for us to try. We had to follow the instructions carefully to try to solve the mathematical problems. We learnt to work as a team and to learn from our mistakes. We also discovered that there is more than one way to solve a problem. The activities were exciting and involved us making and doing which really helped us to learn.