6th Class, Room 5 Egg Drop Challenge

This week Sixth Class had to put their engineering caps on and complete the EGG DROP CHALLENGE!!

The objective was to design a landing craft that would protect an egg from cracking or breaking from a high fall. Each student had to design, build and test their landing craft for homework. They made them using a variety of materials, such as, show boxes, pillows, plastic bags and popcorn.  Many students also made parachutes and wings to help their landing craft.

We had great fun testing them and checking to see whether our eggs ‘survived’ the drop. In the end, we only broke three eggs!

Have a look at some of our EGG-CELLENT landing crafts!

Parachutes & Helicopters in Room 6:

We explored gravity and air resistance by designing and making our own parachutes and paper helicopters.

First, we watched Felix Baumgartner’s skydive from Space and discussed what forces we could see in action.

We then designed our own parachutes and landing crafts for an egg. We wanted to see if we could land them safely without cracking the egg. We used a range of materials to create our parachutes. Three out of six of our parachutes were successful!

Here are some of our designs and parachutes:

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We also created paper helicopters. We dropped them from the same height repeatedly. We found the average time it took for them to fall. Then, each group adapted their helicopter to see if they could increase the time spent in the air.

Here is what our paper helicopters originally looked like:

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Do Pulley Systems Make Things Lighter?

This year in 6th class for the RDS Science Blast we decided to investigate pulley systems. First we made a single fixed pulley system but discovered that it made no difference to the weight. Then we made a multiple fixed pulley system. We calculated that there was a mechanical advantage of 1.8 with this method. Next we made a multiple pulley system using a movable pulley and a fixed pulley. This had the biggest mechanical advantage 3. Finally we wanted make a structure used in everyday life so we decided on a crane. We made the crane out of modelling wood and used 3 fixed pulleys and 1 moveable pulley. We also made a handle out of an old pencil which attaches to the pulleys and makes the crane work when you wind it. We really enjoyed doing this project.

 

 

 

Hydraulic Bridge

This year our class entered the Intel Mini Scientist Competition and our group was lucky enough to be selected to go to the Regional Finals. Our group’s topic was hydraulics, more specifically hydraulic bridges. We chose this topic because last year two people from our
group went to the previous regional final and three other groups did hydraulic arms and we had an interest in the science behind hydraulics. We decided to investigate hydraulic bridges.

At first we found it very difficult to construct the bridge and came across quite a few problems but after a while we figured it out. In November three judges from Intel came in and judged all the classes’ projects. Our group was lucky enough to be selected to go to the Regional Final! In preparation for the Regional Final we decided to make another bridge out of balsa wood. In December our group went to Blanchardstown IT and after a long day of presenting we made it to the National Finals in Maynooth. We were delighted when we found out we were in the top 1% in Ireland. Then the awards were announced but unfortunately we didn’t we win anything but were still extremely proud of ourselves.

Designing parachutes in 3rd class

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We had great fun creating and testing our own parachutes in 3rd Class! Each group in the class decided to test a different material when making their parachutes to see which material worked the best. The materials used included tissue, paper, tracing paper, plastic, cardboard and fabric. We discovered that plastic worked the best and gave our pencil passenger the safest, steadiest landing! We also decided to test parachutes of different sizes. We discovered that the larger the surface area of the parachute, the more air resistance it will encounter. This means that larger parachutes will fall more slowly than smaller parachutes.

The Power of Magnets – 3rd Class Room 11

Introduction: Magnets have the ability to attract certain metals like iron and steel.

Metal paper clips are made from steel and should be attracted by a magnet but can a magnet attract a paper clip through a solid?

Hypothesis: Magnets can work through solid objects.

Materials: cardboard, plastic cars, magnets, paper clips, sign posts, markers.

Method:

  1. Outlined two racing tracks with marker
  2. Attached a paper clip to each car
  3. Two magnets were placed underneath the racing board
  4. ‘Start’ and ‘Finish’ flags were placed at either end of the racing board

Results: Racing board – the magnet had to work through a thicker piece of material but the magnet was also further from the paper clip which makes it harder for the magnet to attract it.

Conclusion: Yes, a magnet can work through solid objects.

 

STEM Activities in Room 10!

We completed two light experiments last week to show the splitting and mixing of light/colour.

Experiment 1: We made rainbow spinners to show that when the rainbow colours are spun quickly, your eyes can’t keep up and the spinner appears white.

Experiment 2: We explored white light and colour by placing skittles and the outer circle of a plate. We added water and observed what happened. The colours moved towards the middle and created a whirl of colour.

 

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2nd class Investigates :The Science of Sound

Experiment 1: Count the Taps!

What were we investigating?

Do sound waves travel better through a gas or a solid?

What did we do?

We learned that the air that we talk through is a gas and it can be interfered with by things like the wind.

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We tested to see if we could count a tapping noise more clearly if we listened with our ear on the desk.

What did we learn?

In a solid you can hear the sound waves clearly. We weren’t sure however, if they were clearer.

Experiment  2: Making Rice Jump

What were we investigating?

Can we see sound waves at work?

What did we do?

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We placed some cling film over a bowl and then placed some rice on top of the cling film. We then banged a drum close to the rice to see if the sound waves could make the rice jump.

What did we learn?

Even from a distance away the sound waves travelled from the drum hit the cling film and made the rice jump. Even though they are invisible we can see the force moving the rice.

Experiment  3: String Phones

What were we investigating?

Can we make a “phone” to send a message from our class across the front of the school to Mr Scott’s room (Room 5)?

What did we do?

Step 1: We designed and made our own string phone’s and tested them to see if they worked.

 

One group tried putting two strings in their phone.(It didn’t seem  to work any better)

Step 2: We measured to see how far apart our phones stretched and we tested to see if the sound got weaker on the longest phones.

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Step 3: We then made another test string phone 4 metres long and we tested to see if it still worked.

Step 4: We measured the distance from our classroom to Mr Scott’s using a trundle wheel. It was  21 metres and 61 centimetres window to window.

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Step 5: We made our new extra-long string phone. We sent a group down to Room 5  to listen for the message and left  two children in our class to call  it out.  Nobody but the callers knew the message (It was: “ Ireland are going to win!”).

 

 

Step 6: We  decided to do a final test to see if we could “listen in” on the line between the two classrooms.

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What did we learn?

We learned lots but the most important bits are:

  • The string has to be pulled tight for the phone to work well
  • Putting two strings on the phone might actually make it harder to hear a message.
  • The quality of the phone does not diminish between 1 and 4 metres.
  • On a very long string- phone the message isn’t as clear as on a short one but we were still able to  work  out the message that was transmitted.
  • By attaching another string to the main line we can “listen in”.

 

Science Week in Senior Infants!

We have loved doing lots of experiments this week for science week! We have been busy exploring different materials that float and sink. We predicted, tested and recorded our results. We especially loved doing the “Dancing Raisins” experiment and designing our own boats! We tested our boats by counting how many “passengers” it could hold before sinking.

 

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