Science Week 2020 at Blanford Mere!

Science Principles 1, 2 and 3 have magnificently been in action this term: children have been engaged and wowed; teachers have asked challenging questions to deepen their knowledge and understanding and it has been a joy for me to listen to how expertly, even our youngest children, could talk about the Science behind their learning using scientific vocabulary.  

This was splendidly showcased during our Science Week. Our aim was to foster your child’s curiosity and develop their love of Science through our enthusiasm and science curriculum - which offers enhanced learning experiences. Please read on… Mrs. Woodley.

Nursery worked scientifically and shares their Pupil Voice with us.

They investigated floating and sinking with a range of objects made from different materials and used magnets to test for magnetic materials. A range of colour changing wow investigations followed this.

Experiment 1. Paper Towel Colour Mixing

The children put food colouring and water into plastic glasses and then put a sheet of kitchen roll length ways into the cup bending the kitchen roll in half dipping it into each glass. The children then observed what happened as the colours travelled. We discussed what happened when the colours met, if the water was travelling fast or slow and how we could change the speed.

"We put the food colouring into the cup and water, dipped the tissue in it and it changed colour!" Ashleigh.

"We are doing a science experiment. We have to put the tissue paper in the water and the colours went all the way to the top," Kayla.

Experiment 2. Fizzy Colours

The children poured bicarbonate of soda into a tray and spread it out and then mixed food colouring and vinegar into a cup. We then poured the mix onto the bicarbonate of soda and observed what happened to the powder and liquid. 

"We added vinegar into the tray and put some food colouring in. It then turned into a grey colour. It went big and fizzy and went bubbly," Leo.

Experiment 3. Rainbow Colour Mixing

The children carefully poured a cup of milk into a bowl and then added some food colouring. Next the children squeezed some washing up liquid into the bowl and explored what happened to the colours. We talked about what happened when each ingredient was added, if the reaction was fast or slow, does it float or sink.

"We had to pour the washing up liquid in the bowl. The colours all mixed together," Zara.  

Experiment 4. What objects are magnetic?

The children looked at different objects in the classroom and found out which objects are magnetic.

"You have to use the magnet to find out what objects are magnetic. The paper clip and spoon were magnetic - they stuck to the magnet" Lilly.

Experiment 5. What objects float/sink?

The children looked at different objects in the classroom and found out what objects float or sink in the water.

"This pom pom is really light, it will float" Luke.

Reception discussed what a scientist is and the different jobs the children could do when they grow up that involve science.

They also considered the importance of recycling and the effects it has on our environment, especially the recent problems of plastic in the sea. They have also explored what germs are, how they are spread and the importance of hand washing.

On Tuesday, they completed a Science investigation where they put some Mentos into a bottle of Cola to see what would happen. The children really enjoyed completing the experiment and understood the reason the Cola 'exploded' was due to a chemical reaction.  

Here are some WOW moments from that investigation:

"I think it was exciting because the cola exploded!" - Emily

"It was fantastic! The gas went out and it fizzed up!"- Eesha

"I thought it was really fun when the fizz came out. When the mentos were in the cola it was a chemical reaction." - Jamie

Year 1 have been learning about the French microbiologist Louis Pasteur.

They talked about how Louis Pasteur carried out lots of research into germs and learnt about pasteurisation. They also found out about vaccines and how Louis Pasteur helped create them. 

Masie – “Louis Pasteur was born in France. He found ways to kill germs.”

Jensen – “I would like to be a performing arts engineer when I grow up.”

Siyanna – “We made a pattern with the Skittles and then we added warm water. The water turned into a rainbow of colours.”

Kyla - “We dropped eggs to see if they would break. We used different materials to protect the eggs.”

What a wonderful Science Week the children and staff had in Year 2! 

In our Maths; we collected data on the behaviour of Greylag Geese and have created different graphs and charts. We have also analysed and interpreted our data and discussed the different conclusions that we have discovered.

In our English; we have written a biography about Sir Joseph Banks. He travelled with Captain Cook, who we have been studying in our Topic, and as our Science topic is Plants, we thought it would be fantastic to look at a famous botanist. He was a very interesting man indeed!

We have planted a range of seeds this week and will be regularly writing in our Plant Diaries as they grow and develop. Watch out for cress, beanstalks and cacti in the Year 2 classroom!

As it was Sport Relief on Friday, we also experimented with measuring our heart rates before and after exercise; and we discussed the importance of exercise in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Jack - "I liked planting our seeds, we got our hands dirty!"

Myla - "Joseph Banks was a famous botanist who collected lots of plants and insects."

Amber - "Science Week has been fun!"

Alex - "It was fun when we watched the goose videos to find out what they did in their nests."

Year 3/4 had great fun learning about five formidable female scientists and their achievements.

The children learnt how they made many important scientific discoveries that affect our everyday lives. We learnt about Peggy Johnson and Hedy Lamarr, who made significant contributions to the way we communicate through electronic messaging. Women that have made discoveries in the area of space exploration such as Kalpana Chawla, who was the first Indian women to become an astronaut and Maggie Aderin-Pocock, who works on satellite projects and finally Stephanie Kwolek, who discovered Kevlar.

As a year group we conducted a number of experiments like chromatography, which is the separation of mixtures. We also conducted some explosive experiments that showed how strong chemical reactions can be like when we put Mentos sweets into Coca Cola.

Coke and Mentos

“I was wowed when I saw the mentos react with the coca cola which exploded giving off carbon dioxide.” Emily

Balloon inflation using vitamin tablets

“I was wowed when Mr Raybould put the vitamins in the water and the balloon on top of the bottle started to inflate because of the chemical Reaction. “ Harman

Chromatography

“ I was wowed when I saw the ink change different colours and spread. I didn’t know the colour black contained different colours. ”Summer

Skittles dissolving in water

“What wowed me was when all of the colours expanded from the Skittles and the Skittles turned white.” Libby

Science Week in Year 5/6 was extremely enjoyable researching a female scientist and recreating her work.

In English, we researched, planned and wrote a biography on Agnes Pockels, the famous ‘kitchen sink chemist’, who discovered surface tension.

We investigated surface tension and colour mixing following the Curious Question of why the surface of a liquid can be changed by another liquid.

Milk-tastic Fun!

The same kind of molecules of a liquid are attracted to one another. This “stickiness” creates surface tension. This is like a “skin” of particles that are more strongly attracted to each other than they are to the surrounding particles. As long as these forces of attraction are undisturbed, they are very strong, e.g. water’s surface tension holds the weight of an insect.

Adding washing up liquid to milk and colour dyes reduces the surface tension of the milk. The rest of the milk still has the same surface tension that it always did and so pulls the milk outwards taking the food colouring with it! The colours swirled and zoomed around the dishes.

Soap-powered Boats!

Surface tension being altered by another liquid was the reason that our boats whooshed across the water. 

Hamoda: "I enjoyed the surface tension experiments and how the colours moved away from the soap."

Izzy: "It was exciting to discover how surface tension worked.  We studied Agnes Pockels who discovered it originally."

Dylan:  "We learnt about surface tension and how when you put soap in water with different contaminants, the contaminants moved away. We also learnt about, and wrote a biography about, Agnes Pockels, the scientist who first discovered surface tension even though she wasn't allowed to go to university because she was a woman and back then, women didn't have any rights."

Priya: "I found science week really interesting because I liked how we were able to learn about a scientist in our English lessons and then carry out her investigation by putting dye in water in our science lesson. I liked how we got to learn about the person behind the science."

Amber: "Science week was fun because when we did the experiments, we learnt new things that we hadn't learnt before.  I liked how we got to learn about surface tension and about the person who discovered it.  Because it was International Woman's Day as well as Science Week, we also learnt about some other women scientists and how unfair it was that lots of women scientists were not recognised for their achievements just because they were women."

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