Science at Downside
Autumn Term Science Challenge
The children at science club were set a challenge from stem.org to design and make a chair that would fit and support the three bears.
Take a look at these photos to see how well they all did at using their knowledge of materials to meet the challenge.
Once the chairs were complete, the children explored separating materials using magnets, sieves and filters.
We have been having a lot of interesting fun in science club.
Take a look at us testing different liquids and combinations of liquids to see if they are acids or alkalis. We used a special paper called universal test paper. This changes colour depending on the acidity or alkalinity of the liquid and gives us a PH reading.
Do you know that a PH reading of 7 tells us that the liquid is neutral (neither an acid nor an alkali)? The lower the PH reading, the more acidic the liquid. The acid in our stomachs has a PH of between 1.5 and 3.5. Blood has a PH of between 7.35 and 7.45.
We found out that vinegar orange squash and lemon juice are acidic (the orange strips). Milk, water, tea and coffee are neutral or weak alkalis (the green strips).
Levers and Catapults
In science club we learnt about levers. They are a very simple yet clever way of using a small amount of energy to produce great results. We learnt the names and purpose of the different parts of a lever.
We made our own levers with the aim of sending a small ball as far along the corridor as we could. We altered the length of the lever, the position of the fulcrum and the height of the fulcrum to find the combination that would send the ball the furthest. Take a look at our final catapults ordered from left to right with the furthest distance coming from the catapult on the left.
You can also see the proud designers of the two catapults that sent the ball the furthest along the corridor.
Science Club - 4th December to 18th December 2018
For the last 3 weeks in KS2 Science Club, we’ve been really stretching our brains to build different structures out of KNEX.
We’ve had to use our problem solving skills (such as when we ran out of pieces) and also our fine motor skills (snapping the pieces together). Although none of us managed to finish our structures, we hope you’ll appreciate the hard work we put into them!
Can you guess what each structure is supposed to be?
The KS2 science club is in the process of setting up a weather station in our wildlife area. Today we made and ‘planted’ rain gauges. If you would like to set up a weather station in your garden, this site will give you all the instructions you need: https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/learning/weather-for-kids/weather-station
Watch this space to discover how much rain we have in Luton!
Science Club (Years 4, 5 and 6)
16th January 2018
In Science club today we carried out an experiment called ‘Walking Water’. We placed clear, plastic cups on the table in a row, and filled alternating cups with water and different food colouring. Then, we folded up kitchen towels and placed them in the cups, linking all the cups together. What then happened was that the coloured water travelled up the kitchen towel, and spread to the next one. As we had alternated different colours, this created a rainbow effect. Have a look at our results!
19th December 2017
In Science club, we explored the concept of density. The density of liquids refers to how heavy the liquid actually is- some liquids are heavier than others! We carried out an experiment to see what would happen if we put liquids of different densities together, and we found out that liquids with a greater density sink to the bottom. See how we did it!
In the years 4,5 & 6 science club, we learnt that yeast is a living thing that respires (breathes), eats, grows and reproduces just like every other living thing. We proved it is alive by adding water and sugar to some dried yeast and watching the result. When the yeast was given warm water and sugar, the bubbles from the respiration spilt over the top of the test tube.
Yeast is used in many food products including bread where its respiration provides the bubbles needed to give each slice a soft, squishy texture.
Today in Science club we learnt all about how our body digests the food that we eat. We explored the journey that food takes once it is in our body, looking more closely at the role that our small and large intestines play. We mashed some chocolate cake, just like our teeth would, and added some water. We then squeezed the mixture through some tights to show how food travels through our intestines, and how the nutrients and water are taken. We now know lots about the digestive system!
Science Club (Years 2 and 3)
This week in science club the children had to see how much weight they could put on top of six eggs before they cracked…they loved this messy activity and found that eggs could take a lot of weight.
The children observed what would happen when they dropped coloured sweets into water…they were very surprised.
This was the first week of Science Club and the group had to predict what would happen if they mixed lemon juice with bi-carbonate of soda… they were amazed with the results.
Year 4 - Science 'WOW' Day
The children participated in a science wow day on light. They explored a range of optical technology: creating pinhole cameras and periscopes- just to name a few!
Each group had a different activity to explore and they had to work together to find out more. After they investigated, they created a poster on sugar paper ready to present what they made.
Some of the activities included:
- Creating a camera (not like the ones you see today!)
- Seeing which direction light travels in.
- Reflecting light on water
“I liked the WOW day. I liked how I had to make a box with black paper. I then used a torch to shine light through the box. I had fun!” (Laaibah Tallat Marble Arch)
“I liked using orange boxes to make a periscope. I didn’t know what a periscope was at first. I now know we can use them to look around corners.” (Anam Akram)
The older science club is taking part in a two year project with Luton’s Groundwork’s team to monitor the state of the Luton part of the River Lea.
On Tuesday 4th October, we went on our first trip to the Cat Brook site in the Limbury area to work with the Senior Environmental Education Officer. We measured the levels of different chemicals, took wildlife samples from the river bed and surveyed the surrounding area.
We found that the water was clear but only contained animals that are indicative of pollution. Fortunately we did not find any invasive plant or animal species. Whilst oxygen levels and the pH of the river were entirely normal, the phosphate levels were high enough to cause some concern. Phosphates are present in detergents and can easily wash into the river.
The children were very professional River Wardens and will be returning to the site a few times over the next two years to record any changes in the river. All the data will be added to the national data base to better enable the environment agency to monitor the health of England’s rivers.
Science in Year 4
As part of our topic on Magnets, the children investigated the purpose of magnets. They learnt that some forces needed contact between two objects, but magnetic forces could act at a distance. They also investigated materials that were magnetic and non- magnetic. To consolidate their learning, the children completed a homework task. Take a read of some of the children’s homework.
Example 1 – click HERE
Example 2 – click HERE
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