Home / Science Log: Award of Science Excellence

Science Log: Award of Science Excellence

Step 1 Science

6 hands-on science investigations

  1. Living things:balanced, healthy diet

  2. Human life processes • develop an awareness of the importance of food for energy and growth need for a balanced and healthy diet structure and make a nutritious lunch

Brunch

Following a series of lessons in healthy eating and to continue to promote healthy lunch boxes, the Health Squad organised a whole school brunch. The senior class made mouth-watering brown bread, the junior class whipped up some delicious butter and a few committee members squeezed a lot of oranges so we could sample fresh orange juice. The porridge, with toppings such as strawberries, banana, raisins and honey, went down a treat. The whole school ate together, enjoying both food and company!         

                                                                                                             

3. Environmental Awareness and Care: School Garden

We plant, grow and harvest our fresh vegetables and sell our goods but not without sampling the food ourselves of course. We reinvest the money made to further develop the garden.

 

School Garden

We started from scratch and weren’t afraid to get our hands dirty! We cleared overgrown spaces, built flower beds and planted hundreds of seeds. We will continue to work together to develop our school garden.

 

Outdoor Classroom

4. Living things: Mini Beasts Insect Hotel and Hedgehog House

Our amazing insect hotel and hedgehog house are open and ready to house many mini guests!

 

We also recently added to our outdoor classroom with the creation of a willow hut. 3rd to 6th class created the hut themselves with the help of Terry the Weaver. We have some stalks of willow in the classroom and we can see how shallow their root system actually is. The hut will become a habitat for wildlife and minibeasts.

5. Energy and forces: Design and Make: Catapult

We first looked at different catapult designs and made test catapults. We designed our catapults and then we made them. The best bit was testing them! We had a bucket in the middle of the room as a target to test distance and trajectory and circles on the wall to test for accuracy.

6. Materials: materials and change. Investigating mixing and reactions.

We mixed baking soda and vinegar in a vitamin tube. They reacted causing a gas to build up in the tube and then the pressure built up and the rocket took off!

We also experimented with how mixing and heat can cause changes too. The senior room baked brown bread and the junior room made butter. Then we ate it all!

7. Environmental awareness and care: Green Schools Programme, Walk for Water, brushing teeth experiment

Teeth Brushing Experiment

We recorded the amount  of water we use when we leave the tap on and turn the tap off while brushing our teeth. We found that turning the tap off uses 93% less water!

Water Displacement Devices

We put weighed water bottles into every cistern. This reduced the amount of water use per flush by 500ml!

Water Butt

We purchased a water butt and plan to use the rainwater collected to water the flowers, fruit and vegetables in our school garden.

Water Use Posters

Other:

  • We bought basins for the classroom and staffroom sinks.
  • We put a jug in the fridge. Pupils and staff can refill their water bottles with cold water without having to run the tap.
  • We no longer use the washing machine. The towels were replaced with recycled paper which can be composted.
  • Tallied and graphed the Home Survey results.

 

Blue Day

Our Day of Action took place on the 23rd of March 2018. We all wore blue!

Walk for Water

We took part in the national Walk for Water Campaign. We raised awareness about water scarcity in developing countries by going for a walk carrying items that symbolised water. It really opened our eyes!

Water Treasure Hunt

As a part of our World Water Day celebration we did a water scavenger hunt around the school. Each team had a map and an iPad. At each point on their map was a question and the answer was located at the correct spot on the map. Each team had to take a selfie to prove they had found each answer!

 The Winning Team

  • Invite a science speaker: James Carton

Dr. James Carton, assistant professor at DCU came to speak to us for Engineers Week.  He told us all about his work with NASA and the European Space Agency. We saw the most amazing videos of Dr Carton on a weightless flight! He told us all about his work and helped us with our Engineers Week Challenge: The Egg Drop Challenge!

  • Participate in science events or projects: Leave no Trace

Eoin from Leave No Trace came to speak with us during Science Week about his work in engineering and about environmental awareness and care. We learned all about the Leave No Trace movement and what exactly that meant when you were going to be camping or trekking.

During Science week Brickz for Kids made a visit to the junior classroom.

For Space Week we created a range of videos about Space. See below for more!

 

Step 2 Technology (ICT)

2 or more examples of the children using ICT

Once we had learned a bit about how to code with Scratch we had our first challenge; to create a Crossy Road game! We had to have variables like lose a life, score points and go to a new level.

We also love showing our junior buddies how to use apps like Scratch Jr.

  • Evidence of the students developing a video

To celebrate Space Week we created videos all about different aspects of space. Videos included the story of ‘Laika: First Dog in Space’ and ‘Trump: Evacuation Earth’. In this video or trio of scientists went throught our solar system explaining which of the planets would be best for the immediate evacuation from Earth!

As a part of a different project we learned how to use green screen technology, how to create effects and edit video, image and sound using iMovie as well as learning how to create stop-motion animation.

  • Use technology to access a range of science/engineering/maths information

We use an augmented reality app called ‘Quiver’. Here we are using the app to investigate volcanic eruptions. We also regularly use Kahoot to test our knowledge in both doing them and making them for others to try. We use the iPads and PCs everyday to investigate and answer our questions.

 

  • Safer Internet Day

We took part in Safer Internet Day and explored our Digital Footprint. We also focussed on staying safe online as well as preventing and dealing with cyberbullying.

Step 3 Engineering

2 or more examples of the children investigating engineering in class : Maker Space

  • We call it our Maker Space. We have one Major Maker Space a month where we explore, plan, design, make and evaluate our task. So far our challenges have included helicopters, a rocket, a catapult, a marble run and the egg drop challenge.

Egg Drop Challenge                                                       Helicopters                                                                                                                                    Marble Run                                                 Air Pressure

For the marble run challenge we got points for each right angle and per cm of height at the start of the run.

 

Step 4 Maths

2 or more examples of the children using their maths skills as part of their science work

Healthy Eating

Lunch Surveys

We conducted a survey on the school lunches. Third and fourth class tallied and recorded the results. We found that

  1. 83% of the pupils had fruit in their lunchbox
  2. 3% had vegetables
  3. 44% had dairy
  4. 79% had either chocolate or biscuits.

Most lunchboxes had a white bread sandwich while apple was the most common source of fruit.

Recording and analysing data:

Home Water Surveys

The committee wrote a survey on ‘Water Usage at Home’ and asked their parents to kindly fill it in. We got a huge response and found that our parents have a good general awareness of water conservation.

Other findings:

  • There is little awareness  of reasons to conserve water among students.
  • In the staffroom, the tap is left running while the dishes are being cleaned.
  • When refilling their bottles, a lot of student leave the tap running waiting for the water to cool.
  • In the classroom, the tap is left running while washing up after art.
  • A hose is used to water the garden.
  • Water left in the kettle is thrown away the next morning.
  • The washing machine is put on once a week.
  • The dishwasher is not used.
  • The following cleaning products were used: Fairy Washing up liquid, Flash and Domestos.
  • There’s no policy on water and water conservation and for the use of non-hazardous cleaning products.
  • Rainwater isn’t harvested in the school.

Using maths skills and knowledge as part of science: recording and analysing data. Using maths operations; ratio, percentages, averages –

Bottle flipping: We used bottle flipping to explore probability, fractions, decimals and percentages as well as statistics. We discussed the probability involved, the variable that could affect the outcome and how to record our results using a tally. We then flipped the bottle 20 times each. Then we calculated the success rate as a fraction of the total flips and then as a percentage. We then figured out the ratio of successful to unsuccessful flips.

Our Maths Week events: We based our Maths Week event around

  • Mathletics: We loved using Mathletics in the run up to World Maths Day. We had great fun playing our math games against pupils from all over the world!

  • Computational Thought

This year we took part in the Bebras Computational Thought Challenge and we were thrilled that Adam from 4th Class made it to the National Finals in Maynooth University!

  • Developing a maths trail around school

Although we started developing our Maths Trails a few weeks ago, the weather has been against us and we haven’t completed them yet! We will!

Step 5 Stem Showcase

We will hold a science open day or evening to present our work for the school, parents and the wider community on June 18th. As a part of this day our pupils have picked a number of experiments based around electricity, electronics and programming which they will demonstrate and then encourage our visitors to have a go! There will be 7 stops on the trail.

  1. Simple and parallel circuits
  2. Electric Quiz
  3. Scratch
  4. Makey Makey and Scratch
  5. Rockets
  6. Robots
  7. Solar Cars
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