STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths)

STEP 1: Science

Investigation 1 – Senior Infants – Ms Lyons

Energy and Forces

Paper Helicopters

In our science activity we explored how some things fall and how the weight of a paper helicopter affects the way a helicopter spins. We made small and big helicopters and we raced them with our friends. We discovered that the small helicopter travelled to the ground quicker than the big helicopter. It was great fun!

 

Investigation 2 – 1st Class – Ms Moore

Living Things

Sow & Grow

We are growing Runner Beans and Cress in 1st Class. We have discovered that Cress grows much quicker but are delighted to see that the leaves and stems of the Runner Beans are now starting to emerge from the compost.

We also noticed that the leaves are growing towards the sunlight! Plants and flowers use sunlight to allow them to make their own food. We also give them water when they are thirsty! The gardener who takes the best care of their plant each week, making sure it gets plenty of sunlight and water, gets to wear the Star Grower badge.

We are going to check how tall our Runner Bean plants are growing each week by measuring the stalks in centimetres with a ruler. Each week we will record the height of our beanstalks in our Diary of a Bean Plant, as well as, drawing a picture and describing our observations each week.

Investigation 3 – 2nd Class – Ms Talty

Living Things

How Plants Drink

We discussed that drinking water and staying hydrated is necessary for living. Ms Talty asked the class “Plants don’t have mouths like we do so how do they drink water?” Some children were able to tell Ms Talty that plants soak up water and that is why we put shop bought flowers in water at home, others said the plants soak water up from the ground. To investigate how plants drink we got two sticks of celery and two white flowers. We then put red food colouring mixed with water into two cups and green food colouring mixed with water into another two cups. One child marked the level of water in each cup and then the celery and flowers were left to sit for three days. After three days the children inspected the celery and flowers and noticed that red and green colouring could be seen up along the sticks of celery and in the leaves and petals of the white flowers. We cut the celery sticks in half and with the help of a magnifying glass we could see little tubes inside the celery stained red and green respectively. The children then wrote up the experiment including the method, equipment needed and results.

 

Investigation 4 – 3rd Class – Mr Morrison

Materials

Keeping Boats Afloat

We made origami boats using A4 sheets of paper. We placed our boats into a basin of water and timed how long they would stay afloat. We covered some of our boats using vaseline, aluminium foil, cling film or baking paper. We timed how long these boats would stay afloat.

To our surprise, the boats made of paper stayed afloat for the longest amount of time! We finished by recording our investigation and results in our copies.

 

Investigation 5 – 4th Class – Ms O’Toole

Materials

Heat

Our class carried out an investigation to see which material would be the best to use to insulate a beaker. We set up a ‘control’ beaker filled with hot water. We also set up 4 other beakers, filled with warm water and wrapped with bubble wrap, tinfoil, wool and cloth.

First we predicted which material would be the best insulator. We regularly checked the temperature of the 5 beakers using thermometers. We recorded our predictions and results in our copies. The results revealed which material was the best insulator – tinfoil!!

 

Investigation 6 – 6th Class – Ms Woods

Environmental Awareness and Care

Making a Solar Oven

The objective of our experiment was to become aware of the importance and usefulness of sunlight as a renewable energy resource. We had previously learned about sources of renewable and non-renewable resources. We learned that energy from the Sun (solar energy) is renewable, so we wished to investigate ways to utilise it. We discussed that one way to utilise sunlight is to use the light from the Sun for cooking. Some of the advantages that we discussed regarding the use of solar energy for cooking was that, apart from the obvious advantages of time and money saved, solar cooking produces no smoke, and thus no pollution. It does not release greenhouse gases like burning of other types of fuel does. Best of all, it uses a renewable energy source that can be freely harnessed by almost anyone using basic equipment. Thus, the children researched ways to design and build a solar oven, in order to melt chocolate and marshmallows into a biscuit sandwich (make s’mores).

ACTIVITY: MAKING A SOLAR OVEN

Resources:

– Aluminum foil

– Pizza box

– Cling Film

– Black construction paper

– Tape

– Glue stick

– Wooden skewer

– Scissors

– S’mores supplies: chocolate, crackers, marshmallows

Method:

1) Cut the “oven door” flap on the pizza box.

2) Glue black construction paper in the bottom of the box. The black color absorbs the heat.

3) Glue the inside of the door with aluminum foil. The foil reflects the sun into the oven.

4) Tape the cling film over the opening of the door. This helps keep the heat inside the box.

5) Add a cracker, marshmallow and chocolate inside the oven.

6) Place your oven outside in the sun. Tape a wooden skewer to prop the lid open at an ideal angle.

7) The chocolate shall start melting quickly. Our indicator was the marshmallows – we waited until they had puffed up from the heat. It took about 90 minutes in total to bake.

We talked about the following discussion points whilst we waited:

Discussion Points:

* The sun as a heat source

* The purpose of the black construction paper

* The purpose of the foil

* How various weather conditions would affect the result

Result/Observations

The children observed that the aluminium foil reflected and focused the sunlight onto a small area. The cling film trapped the heat – like in a greenhouse. This made the temperature rise and cooked the food inside the pizza box.

 

STEP 1: Participation in a Science Event

The One Good Idea Competition

6 children from our Green School’s committee formed a team called ‘The Green Team’ and entered the One Good Idea competition which was run by SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland).

Their task was to come up with one good idea that would save energy. After lots of brainstorming their one good idea was to ensure that the switches on computer sockets in our school would be turned off at the end of every day. Their campaign was aimed at teachers and pupils in the school with the hope that this message would spread to everybody’s home. Our school made it through to the second round of the competition. We had a visit from a mentor who gave us advice on saving energy and provided us with great advice for moving our campaign to the next level. The Green Team came up with a campaign slogan, ‘Flick that Switch’. They ran a competition in the school to design a logo that would go with their slogan. Likky from Mr O’Donovan’s class won the competition and her logo is now on display in every classroom. Well done to Likky and to The Green Team.

 

STEP 2: Technology (ICT)

Use Technology to Record a Presentation Pitch

iCloud – Download _IMG_2194.MOV_

 

As part of the One Good Idea competition ‘The Green Team’ had to design and make a presentation pitch using Powerpoint. This pitch was recorded and emailed to SEAI, the co-ordinators of the One Good Idea Competition.

 

Develop a Website

Maya and Shane are both members of the school’s Science Club. They assisted in the great task of formatting and uploading the information you see here for the Discover Primary Science and Maths Awards 2017. A big thank you to Maya and Shane!

 

STEP 3: Engineering

Engineer’s Visit

5th Class – Mr O’Donovan

Mr O’Donovan’s 5th class had a very exciting visit from an Engineer during Engineer’s Week 2017.

Aine Tobin began her visit by talking to the children about her own background in engineering and why she went into engineering. Then she asked the children if they could tell her what engineering is and if they knew any types of engineering. She proceeded to show the children a powerpoint presentation on the various types of engineering that people work in. After this, Aine showed the children two activities that involved an ‘Apple Mummy’ and the cap of a Berocca tube.

The visit was completed by lots of questions from the class. The children really enjoyed the visit!

 

5th Class – Mr Mac Sweeney

Mr Mac Sweeney’s class took on the challenge of designing and making their own pinball machines during Engineers Week 2017. After a class discussion and brainstorming session they got to work using old shoe boxes, card, glue and paint. I think you’ll agree that the result was a great success. Well done to Mr Mac Sweeney’s 5th class!

 

STEP 4: Maths

Develop a Maths Trail around the School

During Maths Week 2016, the every class from Junior Infants to 6th Class completed a maths trail around the school. The trail brought the children through the school building and outside into the yard and surrounding area. The children loved the opportunity of putting the maths skills they had learned in the classroom to practical use. Well done boys and girls!

 

Using Maths to Record our Science Investigation Results

Mr Morrison’s 3rd Class used timers to measure the length of time that each boat stayed afloat. They recorded their results on a chart in their copies.

Ms O’Toole’s 4th Class used thermometers to measure the temperature or warm water in 5 different beakers. 4 of the beakers had been insulated using different materials. The children recorded the fall in temperature at various time intervals.

STEP 5: STEM Show and Tell

Science Open Day

Our Science Open Day took place during Science Week 2016. We set up a ‘Science Circuit’ in our school hall so that every class could showcase some of the great science activities that take place in the classroom. Every class from 1st – 6th had a table in the circuit where children from the class demonstrated a science activity. Each class from Junior Infants to 6th Class had an allocated time within the day to visit the Science Circuit. When the children had completed the science circuit there were additional stations to challenge them. One of these was a Guessing Gallery. Photographs were on display of parts of equipment from around the school that were made and developed through science and ICT. The children had to guess what each photograph was.

Members of the school’s Science Club were also there on the day showcasing some of the great experiments that they had carried our with Mr MacSweeney and Ms McNamara.

When the children returned to their classrooms they took part in a Science Circuit Table Quiz which was based on the investigations that were showcased in the hall.

 

 

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