Observing, hypothesizing, predicting, testing, comparing were just some of the skills being developed by our P1, P3, P4 and P5 pupils. Working in collaboration with some Science students from Stranmillis College, pupils got to explore aspects of their WAU topics in very practical stimulating ways. Pupils were encouraged to be inquisitive and ask questions, and then to go about seeking the answers.
‘Discovery Dog’ helped the P1s to experiment with different materials finding the answers to questions such as: which material would be most suitable to build a house with and which one would be most water resistant as a roof covering. Using tomatoes wrapped in different materials, they also tested which material would offer the most protection in cushioning your fall.
The P3s helped ‘Granny Annie’ to solve some dilemmas based on their topic of ‘Celebrations’; One was that her Christmas tree lights had stopped working and so the pupils had to construct electrical circuits, understanding the benefits of using a switch. Another problem of Grandma Annie’s was that her bad cough meant that she couldn’t blow up the balloons for her party. Pupils had to explore other ways to inflate the balloons using the chemical reaction caused when sweets were added to the carbon dioxide found in fizzy drinks. Pupils also got to investigate which materials were most effective in melting the ice that had covered Grannie Annie’s garden path and make their own lemonade.
The ‘men in white coats’ helped our P4s to explore electrical conductors and insulators. Pupils even joined hands to make a human circuit to conduct the electricity, learning that this is possible because our bodies are 80% water, water being an electrical conductor! The children also tested a variety of materials to see if they were opaque, transparent or translucent.
The P5s investigated objects that used pendulums to work such as a swing or a grandfather’s clock. They then set about making and testing a pendulum of their own. The pupils also tested which material would offer the best sound insulation when making a pair of earmuffs.
These experiments provided the children with opportunities to understand the world they live in. A hugely beneficial learning experience for teachers, students and pupils alike.