Discover Science Awards 2018-2019
Welcome to the Discover Science Award section of our website. On this page you will find a sample of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths activities that have happened in the school year 2018-2019.
Hands on experiments
1. Living Things (Plants and Animals): Ladybirds (Senior Infants)
In Senior Infants we travelled around our school grounds in search of ladybirds. You can see some of the photographs from our hunt HERE. We learned about what ladybirds need to survive and grow. We kept the ladybirds in our classroom in special boxes so we could look at them. After a week we let our ladybirds back into the wild.
2. Energy and Forces (Electricity): Wind (4th Class)
4th class had lots of fun designing and making cars. We learned about how cars move using wind power. We tested our vehicles using hairdryers and then figured out how to improve our vehicles after testing their speed and distance. Check out our pictures HERE and our video clip HERE. We had lots of fun racing our vehicles and measuring their speed and distance!
3. Materials (Materials and Change): Colour Mixing (4th Class)
During Science Week 4th Class had lots of fun investigating how water can travel through materials (tissue paper). We used food colouring in the primary colours to investigate if the water would naturally mix the colours. It was great to see the blue and red creating purple, the blue and yellow making green and the red and yellow making orange as the coloured water travelled from one cup to the next.
4. Lava Lamps (3rd Class)
We created our very own lava lamps using materials that are easily found around the house: oil, water, food dye, Alka-seltzer tablets and plastic bottles. First, we poured water so that it filled half the bottle. Next, we poured vegetable oil into the bottles. We noticed that the oil and water did not mix. We then put three or four drops of food colouring into the mixture. The food colouring went straight down to the water. When we put the Alka-Seltzer tablets into the mixture we noticed that things started to change. Once the Alka-Seltzer tablets reached the water they created a reaction and made carbon dioxide. Before we knew it we had our very own lava lamps as the combination of all the ingredients created a fantastic reaction!
5. Environmental Awareness and Care: Planting Seeds (Whole School)
Our school turned green during March when all classes starting planting flowers and vegetables in our outdoor garden, plant tunnel and in our classrooms. We had an expert visit 3rd class who taught us lots of different things about plants, how to use recyclable materials for watering and planting and then how to protect plants in an Eco-Friendly way. Some of the interesting things we learned about:
* using copper tape to keep slugs from our plants
* using milk cartons and wood to create bee drinking stations
* using special mesh to protect our plants from birds and small insects
We have lots of pictures to see HERE.
Junior Infants had a new tunnel to grow their plants in. They all grew individual sunflowers and have planted vegetables too. Click here to see the photographs.
Senior Infants grew sweet pea and also planted onions in the vegetable patch with 3rd Class. We had lots of fun making sure we looked after our plants! First we got our plant pots ready. We filled the pots with compost. We used our finger to make a hole in each pot. We placed one seed in the pot and covered loosely with soil. We watered the pots and placed them in a sunny spot. They’re already starting to sprout thanks to all our hard work!
6. Materials and Change: Eggs (1st Class)
We used eggs, water and vinegar to test how materials change in different substances. We made predictions before we put the eggs into the water and vinegar. We recorded our results.
7. Living Things (Plants and Animals): Spiders
For homework one day we went out and caught spiders. Then the next day we brought them all in and learnt all about spiders. For their webs, there are seven parts to their Central Hub, there are anchor lines, bridge lines, radii, sticky spiral threads and the signal line where the spider is hiding behind a leaf. We also learned all the parts to the spiders body. It has a head with eight eyes and eight legs sticking out, two palps and two fangs. On the abdomen there are two spinnerets that produce the silk for the web. The fangs on the head produce a venom which it injects into its prey. Sometimes it will wrap up the prey and give it to the female and while she is eating it the male would mate with the female. Sometimes the female is finished eating before and she eats the male! If not, the male would run away and escape. However, not all males are lucky…some turn into a midnight snack for the female!
In order to qualify for the plaque: Science Speaker
3rd and 4th classes had a visit from the Cell Explorers Team from DKIT. First we got to listen to a very interesting presentation about DNA and afterwards we carried out experiments to extract the DNA cells from bananas. It was great to have hands on experience of carrying out a real scientific experiment using laboratory equipment. It was fantastic.
Science Week in St. Peter’s N.S.
We had an action packed science week in St. Peter’s N.S. with every class participating in a variety of activities. We have included a selection of these below.
Junior and Senior Infants worked with older classes to make slime. It was very messy but VERY fun! Every Junior and Senior Infant got to take a container home with slime to show their parents.
3rd Class and Senior Infants investigated what would happen when water was added to a plate containing skittles. We made predictions first and then saw our experiment in action! In 3rd class we tested out various temperatures of water. It was a yummy experiment as we got to eat the skittles at the end! It was interesting to see how the results changed based on the temperature of the water, the size of the plates used and the combination of colours.
Step 2 – Technology
1. Participation in Hour of Code (First Class – Sixth Class)
Scratch (Third Class)
First Class up to Sixth Class have been using the Hour of Code website to practice computer coding this year. Each of these classes had a special log in page on their class page on our website. Third Class have been doing weekly coding with Ms. O’Rourke. We have children in our class who have progressed through four or five of the courses available on the Hour of Code website and they have written hundreds of lines of code as a result. One of our favourite games to code was the flappy bird game. We also liked the Angry Birds mazes throughout Course 1. It was a great introduction to coding and we liked that we could use it at home as well. We got so good at it that we got to teach First Class how to code!
Third Class have also embarked on computer coding using Scratch. We have individual logins and work on our own individual projects and group activities. We have found it more difficult than Hour of Code but we enjoy using Sprites to make our own stories and games.
2. Stop Motion Videos
Third Class made stop motion videos in groups. We worked in a group to discuss our story line and each person in our group was responsible for bringing in the materials we needed. It was a huge success and we have used this technology in other curricular areas.
3. Children developing videos (2nd – 6th)
Designing videos is used across a range of classes in our school for a variety of purposes. We have aimed to use various different types of video software. These include using Adobe Spark (Reindeers), Flipogram (Designing and Making Boats), photostory (The Water Cycle, Poverty, Global Warming Video), video software (Design and Make Cars, Fair Trade). You will also find another video in the STEM showcase section below.
5. Safer Internet Day (5th Class)
Fifth Class participated in Safer Internet Day this year in February by performing the Anti-Bullying Rap “I Like It” at our school assembly. It highlighted the dangers that social media sites and apps can pose but also gave advice on how to make the internet a safer place, especially for children.
6. QR Code Hunts
One of our favourite activities in Third Class is to use QR codes throughout lots of different subjects. It allows us to use technology, be active and work with partners or groups. We have used QR codes to learn about Ancient Egypt, 2D Shapes and about different countries. Click here to see some examples of our Ancient Egypt QR code. The next step is for us to create our own codes and set challenges for other classes!
Step 3 – Engineering
On Tuesday 12th March we had a special workshop by Bricks4Kidz for the junior classes (Junior Infants – Second Class). This was to celebrate Engineering Week. The senior classes (3rd Class – 6th Class) will have their workshops on Wednesday 13th March. It was wonderful to watch all our budding engineers at work! We are aiming to set up an afterschool Bricks4Kidz club after Easter so make sure you have sent in your interest slip. It was wonderful to see all the fantastic creations the children made using Lego. The future of engineering in Dromiskin looks bright!
2. Engineering Week
Engineering Week was another busy week in St. Peter’s N.S. this year. Lots of classes created lots of different projects.
Junior Infants were busy during engineering week creating building using various materials that can be found at home. They worked in groups to plan, design and build their buildings.
Third Class were introduced to Hexbugs. These are battery operated robot bugs that have a mind of their own! We were set a challenge to design a bug run for our Hexbugs in groups. Our classroom was filled to the brim with lots of different materials including lego, cardboard, plastic and foam. We planned our bug runs first in groups and divided out responsibilities. We discovered during the process that engineers need to revisit plans sometimes when things are not working. We adapted plans and redesigned our bug runs when things didn’t go according to plan. We also experiment with two types of Hexbugs and found that the bugs that had spikes on their backs were more able to climb the ramps in some of the bug runs.
Step 4 – Maths
1. Developing Maths Trails
As part of the School Self Evaluation process this year, each class teacher has created a series of Maths Trails around the school.
2. Maths Week 2018
Maths week took place in October. The entire school took part. Here are some of the activities that took place in 3rd Class.
Coding with 1st Class we have been learning to code nearly 2 years now so we became the teachers today! First class visited our room and we showed them how to code using the laptops. We had great fun showing the younger classes how to use special coding to make the characters and objects move on the screen.
Making Numbers we paired up with First Class again for this project. Each group was given a number to create using our bodies. First Class also participated in lots of other activities during Maths week, which you can see HERE.
Maths at Lunch we entered into a country wide competition using target boards. 3rd and 4th Class were trying very hard every day to make it onto the leaderboard. We really enjoyed the activity….so much that we decided to work on it over lunch every day!
Senior Infants had lots of fun with different Maths activities during Maths Week. These included lots of number work and a really exciting shape hunt using our school grounds. They also used lollipop sticks and concrete materials to make sums and came up with some very difficult problems for other groups to solve! See these HERE.
Step 5 – STEM Showcase
- Fifth Class presented their Internet Safety rap to the entire school during an assembly.
- As mentioned above, Third Class have showcased their computer coding skills by working with younger and older classes. The next step is to have an open hour for parents to visit during a coding session.
- Second Class also showcased their lava lamp experiment to Junior Infants. You can find our flipogram HERE. They really enjoyed explaining the different steps involved in the experiment and walking Junior Infants through the entire thing. Second Class also did a great job of helping Junior Infants to make predictions about what they thought would happen next.
- There were lots of examples of classes pairing up together during Science Week. Another example was when 4th class visited the infant classes to create games using magnets. Click here for our photographs.
- We also had a guest speaker from Junior Infants who visited Third Class to introduce them to circuits. Third Class then used the new science kits to create bells, alarms and lights. It was a nice change for us to have a younger pupil show us how to do something! You can see some of the photographs HERE. We also worked in teams to practice our logic skills with some new logic board games.