STEM Week 2017

Hats off to Mrs Bell and Miss MacIntosh for their sterling effort to ensure this year’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) week was one to remember. Throughout the week, there has been a wide range of activities taking place both inside and outside of the classroom. Below is just a taste of the exciting activities the children have enjoyed partaking in!

Can you make ice-cream from the comfort of your own home?

In Year 6 we made ice cream with household ingredients. We have also written a set of instructions so other children in school can make it at home too!

How can we protect ourselves from the sun?

Year 3 & Year 4 investigated which materials blocked UV rays effectively. They started by learning about the planets and were amazed at how far the moon is from our earth. After a spot of cosmic chaos, they made bracelets and key chains using UV sensitive beads. Using specially UV torches (as sadly the sun had gone missing), the children then investigated which materials blocked and which materials let through the UV rays.

Did you know that they are three common fingerprint patterns in the world?

Year 5 set out to investigate which pattern was most prevalent within our class – loop, arch or whorl. We carried out a simple investigation using a pencil, some paper and piece of sellotape. Once we established the pattern of our individual fingertips, we took a tally to see which was most common. Can you decide which fingerprint pattern is the most common in Year 5 by looking at the bar charts we created to represent our findings?

Did you know that Astronauts can be in their specially designed space suits for up to 9 hours a day? That’s an awfully long time to not use the bathroom. So what do they do? They wear nappies!

As part of STEM week at Usworth Colliery, Year 5 investigated how much liquid a nappy could hold. We used two different brands of nappies and water in our experiment. The majority of Year 5 predicted that a nappy could hold 500ml but when we put it to the test, Pampers could hold up to 1000ml. However, we’re not sure if we would like to carry an extra litre around all day!

Do we really need a Smart Phone?

This week Year 4 made string telephones with paper cups to learn how sound travels.

We designed posters that explained how the human digestive system worked.

We have also been outside doing a nature survey, counting how many animals we could see in the wild garden habitat and using that data to create bar charts.

Why do some things float and why do some things sink?

In their workshop KS1 were finding out about things that float and things that sink. They had great fun trying to create Plasticine boats that floated and that were strong enough to hold marbles.

What makes a strong bridge?

Year 1 worked in teams today to build the strongest bridge out of Lego. The bridges had to be long enough to cross the river and strong enough to hold 500g. We also investigated how we could make a paper bridge that would be strong enough to hold the weight. “Lego is plastic and plastic is strong .” Daniel, “our bridge is tough” Thomas, “Paper isn’t a strong enough material” Alicia

Is Star Wars becoming a reality?

In ICT with Year 4 & Year 1, we’ve been looking at robotics. Year 1 started by exploring giving instructions (algorithms) and used arrows in 2NXT to move a robot avatar around a maze they had created out of virtual Lego.

Year 4 built on this and gave instructions to another type of Lego robot in the  Bits and Bytes game on the Lego website. However, their mazes included levers, switches and teleport pads! We also watched a short film about the use of robotics as prosthetic limbs and discussed how robots are helping us in everyday life.

Can an 8 year old design a car?
The Base and Year 3 have been doing a spot of computer aided design (CAD), creating their own cars in Google Sketch-Up. Next they’ll be wanting to design robotic arms!