Science

Living Things

Junior Infants

 Growing Sunflowers

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

Sixth Class

Newtons Disc

 White light is made up of seven colours of the spectrum: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. When the disc is spun quickly, the eye sees all seven colours at the same time and it appears white. In reality, the disc is off-white, as the colours are not pure.

Flick Book

As you flick the pages, your eyes and brain try to blend the pictures together, so the pictures appear to move. Movies need to show 24 pictures per second to make the image smooth enough to look as if it is moving.

Kaleidoscope

Light shines through the decorated paper into the tube. The plastic-covered foil sides act like mirrors, reflecting the light. Each side also reflects the light that reflects from the other sides. All these different reflections create interesting patterns of coloured light.

Pinhole Projector

The light from the torch passes through the pinhole and onto your viewer. Light rays from the top of the torch hit the bottom part of the viewer, and rays from the bottom hit the top part of the viewer. These rays cross over when they pass through the pinhole, so you see the image upside down.

 

 

 

 

 

Third Class

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Fourth Class & Fifth Class

 Our class were investigating the Law of the Lever. First at our tables, using short and long rulers we tried to work out whether a short or long lever was more effective in lifting a weight like our maths sets. We also had to work out how to define a long lever (the distance between the fulcrum and our hand pushing down on the lever). Everyone worked out that the longer the lever  the easier it was to lift an object. After a while we moved to heavier weights like a box of books and observed the difference in lifting it with short and long levers. We also lifted one of the bunkers in the room and even managed to lift part of the white board with our baby fingers. The class also spoke about places where levers were used in history to build large structures like the Pyramids in Egypt, Stonehenge and Newgrange and locally in West Cork, the Drombeg Stone Circle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dancing Raisins 

The girls really enjoyed this experiment. Before setting it up they predicted what they thought would happen when the raisins were dropped into the 7up. Next, they poured the 7up into a clear plastic cup, making sure not to spill any. After this, they dropped some raisins into it and observed what happened. They noticed how the raisins were heavier and fell to the bottom. Following further examination and with some explanation they saw how the bubbles stuck to the raisins, making them lighter. They then floated to the top again where the bubbles burst and the cycle continued.

 

 Magnets

Junior Infants

Together we engaged in a class discussion about magnets. Here I elicited the children’s prior knowledge about magnets;

What do magnets do?

What sort of things ‘stick’ to a magnet?

What are magnets used for?

Together we looked at the four main types of magnets – the horseshoe, bar, doughnut and wand magnets. We examined their shape, appearance and strength. Following this, the children went on a class treasure hunt to find new things that stuck to the magnets and things that did not. We discussed our findings. The children learned that iron, nickel and cobalt are attracted to magnets, about their north and south poles and attraction and repulsion. They enjoyed examining different materials and see if they were attracted to magnets or not. They really enjoyed this activity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Electricity

 

Materials

First Class

Lava lamps

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Second Class

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!

 

 

 

 

 

Junior Infants

Design and make a lava lamp

The pupils had great fun discussing and predicting what would happen if we mixed certain things. Following this we carried out some investigations. We mixed oil and water, water and a non-effervescent tablet, water and an Alka-Seltzer tablet, water and food colouring, oil and food colouring and oil and an Alka-Seltzer tablet. The children were then introduced to the term ‘a chemical reaction’. Next we made our own lava lamp by combining water, food colouring and oil in a plastic water bottle. I encouraged the children to predict what would happen if I dropped an Alka-Seltzer tablet into the water. We dropped it in and observed what happened. The children loved this activity and there was great excitement when we increased the chemical reaction by increasing the size of the tablet.

 

 

 

 

 

Enviornmental Awareness & Care

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!

 

 

 

Extras

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!