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Science Log: Award of Science Excellence

OUR SCIENCE LOG 2018 – 2019

Living things

We currently have three beds for planting and growing.

We will have another three beds to plant and grow after the Easter holidays!

Here we learn how to plant and grow our own food. We then use the food to cook, share and enjoy together. Our Infants class made the most delicious vegetable soup. What we don’t eat or use, we leave for others in the community to use. Donations received into our trust box are then reinvested in to the garden.

 

We have just completed our sensory garden at the front of the school. There are things to see, taste, smell, hear and touch in our garden. We can’t wait to see how it grows!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our 6th class worked with our Infants class to help them plant carrots, spinach and cress seeds.

Our lungs: we learned about how our lungs work and then recreated a model lung using a bottle, straw and balloons.

  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 pancakes and organised and served the entire brunch! There was porridge with honey, the most divine strawberries donated from Greenhills Farm and mini-omelettes which went down a treat. The whole school ate together, enjoying both food and company!

 

We had a visit form our local Fire Brigade and they told us all about fire safety and how to stay safe around fire and hot objects.

 

Ms Ratcliffe, our very own nurse, came to visit the Infants for Aistear. They had been learning about the body and a visit to the Doctor in Aistear (Integrated Learning Through Play). Ms Ratcliffe showed everyone how to take their blood pressure and how to listen to the heartbeat and pulse.

Energy and forces

We had a visit from Bricks for Kidz following our block of work on Climate Change and sustainable living. We investigated and learning about wind power and created our own wind turbines.

We created and tested a number of different types of airplanes. The circle ones flew the furthest!

Our Infants class investigating magnetism.

Materials

Here we mummified an apple using baking soda. It is similar to natron which was the salt used by the Egyptians to mummify. We discovered that the soda absorbed all the moisture from the apple so it dried out and shrunk but didn’t go off.

Mixing and changing: Weighing and measuring to make pancakes. Yum!

We used a recipe from a magazine to bake gingerbread. We discovered how important it is to follow instructions correctly. The one waving at you had way too much bicarb of soda in him!

We learned about Climate Change and the melting of the polar icecaps. We used bubble wrap to copy the Greenhouse Effect and then placed them in the sunshine. After two hours the red box, which had been wrapped was completely melted but the yellow one had only melted a small amount. We could see that our red house had been flooded.

Following a visit from the local Traffic Corp and a block of work on road safety we discovered that the EU made seatbelts mandatory and that they had saved thousands of lives. We designed and tested a number of egg-cars with restraints in an experiment called ‘How to prevent egg-cidents’. Egg Sheeran survived!

Environmental awareness and care

During the year we discovered that the school water supply had been contaminated and we couldn’t drink it for quite a while. We learned about water quality around the world and investigated simple ways to clean water. We all agreed that even though our solutions cleaned out dirt, it did not kill germs or bacteria. One group discovered that UV light can do this and set up a foil surround that would catch the sun and focus UV light on the water.

This is our new sensory garden. We use it to learn about the senses. There are things to see, taste, hear, feel and smell.

 

 

 

 

We are a Plastic Free School!

See our blog https://sites.google.com/view/davidstownpupils/climate-change for more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Davidstown PS Walkability Audit Report

Invite a Science speaker to your school. Visit an SFI Discover Centre.

We had the most amazing visit from the Seal Sanctuary Ireland. Jesh and Ffion told us all about the species of seals around our coastline and how they can be injured and then brought through the recovery process. We adopted two seal, Egg and Sundae. Egg is particularly special as he has only one flipper. The other was damaged beyond repair by discarded fishing nets. We learned so much for Jesh and Ffion and their visit inspired us to become a plastic free school.

 

Step 2: Technology. Two or more examples of the children using Technology as part of their school work.

4th – 6th Class created a blog about our work on Climate Change and our decision to become a #plasticfreeschool

https://sites.google.com/view/davidstownpupils/climate-change

We entered the Brabras Computational Thought Competetion

We use Google’s CS First to learn how to code using Scratch. Click on the link to see one of our pupil’s creation. It is his take on a popular online game.

https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/201158376/

Using Kahoot

We had a visit from Film Maker Therese Dalton who gave us plenty of practical advice on digital storytelling. We then put that advice into action.

 

  • Safer Internet Day

We took part in Safer Internet Day and explored our Digital Footprint. We also focused on staying safe online as well as preventing and dealing with cyber-bullying.

Step 3: Engineering

  • Organise an event during Engineers Week 2019

Julie and Chris from Engineers Ireland came to visit us during Engineers Week. They told us about their work and how they became engineers. We did a number of experiments such as water fountains, bridge building and creating a prosthetic hand!

 

Step 4 Math

DPSM PLAQUE OF STEM EXCELLENCE

  • 2 or more examples of how the children have applied their Maths knowledge and skills in practical ways

We love to cook and bake in our school. We use cooking and baking for sensory activities as well as for math to measure and  in science to explore materials and change such as melting, cooling, mixing and separating.

Use Maths to record and analyse your science investigation results where appropriate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we became a plastic free school we began to count and create statistics around how we were achieving our plastic free goal. See our twitter page for more.

 

Take part in Maths Week 2018 www.mathsweek.ie.  Look! There’s Scoil Mhuire, Davidstown on the leader board!

We created Radial Name Art: Exploring vertical, horizontal and diagonal symmetry using our names as inspiration.

  • Develop a Maths trail around your school

As a part of Maths Week we developed a maths trail around the school based on 2D Shapes, 3D Shapes and lines and angles.

 

Step 5: Showcase

DPSM PLAQUE OF STEM EXCELLENCE

Choose one or more of the following:

  • Show evidence of the children presenting their science work to other classes in the school.

We create animations and video to present our work to our school mates and our classmates around the world!

 

As a part of Maths Week our 3rd and 4th classes designed math games for the Infants class using LEGO. They did a fantastic job and created the most wonderful games based on counting and sorting.

  • Hold a science open day or evening to present your work for the school, parents or the wider community

We will have our Science Exhibition on our Flag Day in June when we will celebrate receiving our Green Flag, our Health Promotion Flag and our Digital School of Distinction status as well as showcasing our work as a Creative School.

 

OUR SCIENCE LOG 2017 – 2018

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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