Together we planted sunflower seeds. Each child got a pot, a seed and some compost. They added some compost to their pot first, followed by one seed and again some more compost. Next, they watered it. Over the next few weeks, we cared for our sunflowers together by continuing to water them and by exposing them to direct sunlight. The children were delighted when the first sunflower began to grow and are very exciting coming to school every morning to see how much their plant and others have grown. They are continuing to care for them.
Energy & Forces
Third class investigated the effect of friction on the distance travelled by a car. The ramp surface was the variable used and everything else was kept constant i.e. height of ramp, type of car etc. Surfaces included: carpet, felt, sandpaper and wood.
Results showed that more friction was created on the rougher surfaces i.e. carpet and thus the car travelled a lesser distance on such surfaces.
First class made lava lamps. We needed water, oil, food colouring, glitter and alka- seltzer to make the lamps. First, we added water to a bottle. Then we poured in some oil. We learned that oil floats on water and that they do not mix. Next, we added some food colouring. We poured this in using a funnel and were careful not to stain our hands. Then some glitter. Finally, we put in half an alka – seltzer tablet, this fell to the bottom of the bottle and caused bubbles to rise up through the water! We made three bottles so that everybody had a chance to do a job.
During Science Week 2nd class learned about insulation. They tested to see which material kept their hot chocolate warmest. They tested tin foil, a sock, kitchen paper and bubble wrap. They used a thermometer to measure the temperature of each cup of hot chocolate after 10 minutes. They were lucky enough to be able to taste the hot chocolate at the end!
Environmental Awareness & Care
The Apple Tree Project.
Apple Tree Project
Over 65 families in the school have become involved in the Appletown project. The aim of the project is to have 2020 trees planted in and around the town of Skibbereen by 2020. This is year three of the project. Michael Burke, who has spearheaded the project, came to the school with different varieties of apple trees to dispense. He then gave a talk to all the children on how to plant and care for an apple tree. He enquired how last years trees were doing and gave advice on ongoing care. It was wonderful to see the children heading home with their apple trees to plant and care for them. St Joseph’s GNS has now got ten apple trees in our grounds.
5th Class Weather Station
In 5th Class we have been observing the weather over the past year by reading data from the school’s weather station. We decided to record the weather from early March to early April focussing on temperature and air pressure in particular. Every day we would predict what the temperature and air pressure would be.
At the start of the month, the weather was very unsettled, with low pressure and a lot of rain. Up to St. Patrick’s Day the temperature during the day rarely rose above 10 degrees and the air pressure was generally lower than 1010 hectopascals. However, from the 18thair pressure began to rise to between 1020 and 1040 hectopascals and the temperature rose to between 10 and 15 degrees until the end of the month. In early April both air pressure and temperatures decreased quite a lot as the weather became unsettled once again. Air pressure in early April was around 995 hectopascals while the temperature was around 6 degrees Celsius.
The weather was generally mild enough over the month with an average temperature of 9.28 degrees recorded. The air pressure was also quite high overall at an average of 1014. Overall, we found that March was quite a mild, fine month with above average air pressure recorded especially during the end of the month.
We made two plot graphs to display the data, one for temperature and one for air pressure.
Christmas STEM Challenges
The 6th class took part in some festive STEM challenges this December. The first was to work as a group to create the longest paper chain in the time given using one A4 sheet of paper. The girls had to work as a team and communicate well with their team mates to complete this task. The second challenge was to use an elastic band and string to move and build a Christmas tree of plastic cups. Again teamwork and communication proved vital to the success of the task. We had lots of fun with these STEM challenges!
As part of Maths Week, on the 19th of November, the Lifetime Lab visited the school for the Maths Works Workshop. This was set up in the halla and 3rd – 6th class each enjoyed an hour exploring the maths stations. There were number activities, shapes, puzzles as well as lots of fun challenges. Each class really enjoyed the day.
Our local Tidy Town committee visited 3rd – 6th class and spoke to the girls about keeping our local environment clean and tidy. They spoke in particular about dog litter and the dangers of this being left on footpaths and other areas where people are walking. The girls then took part in a ‘Design a poster’ competition where they encouraged people not to leave dog litter on the streets. This competition was judged by the Tidy Towns Committee and the prizes were awarded in the school and the winning posters were displayed.