A Week of Scientific Challenges
The Language of Learning values of Challenge, Communication, Positivity, Responsibility, Confidence and Perseverance were seen in abundance during the workshops and activities of this year’s ‘Structures and Materials’ themed Science Week. The whole school were involved, from Nursery to Year 8.
To fit in with their topic of Light and Shadows, Year 3 made their own kaleidoscopes made from recyclable materials.
Year 3 then began their new topic of Construction Materials; learning about earthquakes and buildings that have been reinforced by various materials and structural supports to survive sheer forces. Pupils then used these ideas to construct earthquake resistant buildings that they tested on jelly platforms!
They also took part in a Knex workshop, investigating which structures provided the most stability.
In Architecture workshops, Year 4 built bridges, Year 5 designed and built Lego Houses, Year 6 made a huge ferris wheel, and Year 7 and 8 constructed skyscrapers.
Meanwhile Year 4 tried to build the tallest freestanding tower that could support a plastic cup containing five marbles. However, they were only allowed to use one newspaper, four sheets of card and sellotape!
To fit in with their topic of Lifecycles, Year 5 looked at the structure of flowers. They also looked at pollen grains under the microscope. Having dissected flowering plants and learnt about their structure they then went on to make their own model flowers. They then went on to sample organic honeycomb and they made beeswax candles and calculated the ratio of honey to wax produced by bees. They investigated where hexagonal shapes occur in nature and discovered that bubbles will form hexagons!
Year 6 used their knowledge of levers, gears and pulleys and investigated the structure of various machines and made moving models – with varying levels of success.
Year 7 investigated SMART Materials and their uses. They looked at thermochromic film, UV Beads, Smart Putty, Shape Memory Polymer and hydrogels. They made polymorph – which you can mould and shape by hand when it is put in hot water. Meanwhile, Year 8 Made biodegradable plastic from Potato Starch.
In the Pre-Prep, Nursery children looked at structures and materials of plants. In their Forest School session they made a Hapa-Zome print. Hapa-Zome means ‘leaf dye’, and is the Japanese technique of crushing flowers and leaves into fabric. The children found or selected their own leaves or flowers and were shown how to use the hammer safely to crush the plant to produce the dye.
Year 1 spent the week investigating ‘Edible Engineering’. They constructed 2D and 3D shapes from marshmallows, built marshmallow towers, built walls from fudge to test the suitability of icing sugar vs frosting as a cementing material. They worked together to built the tallest structure they could from 100 cups and were stunned by some interesting EGGsperiments which demonstrated just how strong egg shells are.
Year 2 used Science Week to enhance their topic of ‘Vive la France’. They used their knowledge of equilateral triangles to construct the iconic pyramid at The Louvre, leant fascinating facts about the Eiffel Tower and then built their own from spaghetti, and then followed up with lots of tricky calculations on buildings of different sizes.