The Globe Project – 5th Class Room 7

This year, as part of the GLOBE initiative, our class has been examining the weather in the school environment. We have been analysing clouds and measuring the amount of Particulate Matter (PM) in the air using our cloud charts and the Calitoo instrument. We have also been measuring the amount of rainfall using our rain gauge and examining the temperature and barometric pressure using a thermometer and a barometer. Every time we completed our analysis, we recorded the data onto the GLOBE website.

Some students in our class made a homemade thermometer and barometer to see if they could be used as an accurate way of reading the temperature and the barometric pressure. We compared our results to the actual readings on the thermometer and barometer in our instrument shelter.

This year, we were given special test tubes which measured the amount of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the school environment. Nitrogen dioxide is generated when nitrogen from the car engine mixes with oxygen in the air. We chose to place these test tubes in three locations around the school. These locations were; the school gate, the staff car park and the school garden. We made predictions about which location we felt would have the most and least amount of NO2.

Results:

School gate: 26. 85 (µg/m3)

Staff car park: 24.85 (µg/m3)

School garden: 20.92 (µg/m3)

Our predictions were correct!

NO2 concentration (µg/m3) Description
50 + Extremely bad
45 – 50 Very bad
40 to 45 Bad
35 – 40 Substandard
30 – 35 Mediocre
25 – 30 Average
20 – 25 Pretty good
15 to 20 Good
10 to 15 Very good
0-10 Excellent

From there, we decided to complete a project on acid rain as our research told us that nitrogen oxides are present in acid rain. We completed 3 experiments.

Acid Attack: This involved us placing 5 bean seeds on damp cotton wool which were on two jam jar lids. Each day, a student from our class sprinkled both lids with  water and poured lemon juice on just one of the lids (labelled acid rain). This was used to show how acid rain affects vegetation.

We also took a piece of cement and placed it in a jar of vinegar to show the affect of acid rain on buildings.

Acid Rain Indicator:  This involved us making an acid indicator from red cabbage. We tested the rainwater in our school environment. We compared our results to a jam jar with baking soda and a jam jar with vinegar. This enabled us to identify whether the rain water was acidic.

The Water Cycle: We placed a food bag with some water out on the window sill in the sunshine which demonstrated how acid rain is made and falls.

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Results: 

Acid Attack: The beans on the lid labelled acid rain were more eroded than the beans which had no lemon juice on them.

Acid Rain Indicator:  The acid jar turned a pink colour and the base jar turned a light purple. The rainwater in our environment was neutral as the colour of the indicator did not change.

The Water Cycle: This demonstrated how acid rain is made and falls to the ground through the water cycle.

 

Which Material Absorbs Best?

Spring showers can only mean one thing for our floors inside our homes…PUDDLES! First class put their thinking caps on today and came up with an experiment that would test which material would clean up puddles best. They made a prediction and then carried out the experiment to establish a result. Each of the children made sure to measure the water and the size of the materials carefully. It is so important that each test is fair so that the result is accurate.

Not only did first class discover whichmaterial absorbed best, they also discovered that playing with water is lots of fun!

Posting letters to our ‘Pencilpals’!

After as few complications, we finally made it to the post office to send our letters to our ‘pencilpals’ in Co. Cork.

We had worked so hard on our handwriting and letter writing skills. Because of this, Ms. O’Sullivan took us to the post office so that we could send the letters ourselves. Most of us had never posted a letter before, so we were very excited to see what happens.

Over the next few days, our letters will be making a long journey to Co. Cork. We can’t wait to hear back from our new friends!

Harold’s Cross Nature Walk

Our fourth classes were delighted to get a chance to go on a nature walk last week in Harold’s Cross Park. We were invited to go on a walk by Dublin City Council and were guided around the park by a biologist called Éanna Ní Lamhna. She showed us some of the different trees in the park and the wildlife and insects that live amongst them. We saw lime trees, copper beeches, lodgepole pines, plum trees, 5 needle pines, holly trees and a handkerchief tree. We also learned some bird calls and heard a wren calling in the trees. It was great fun.

 

Plastic Island Collection

In Fourth Class, we are taking part in a Green Schools project based on the theme of the Marine Environment. We have been learning about plastic islands that are formed in different parts of the world when plastics that are thrown away or littered on land find their way into the sea. Then, the ocean currents sweep them into the ocean where they remain and are broken down into smaller and smaller pieces that are harmful to marine life and the marine ecosystem.These islands were first discovered in 1985 and they are like a soup of plastic debris that is kept together by ocean currents called gyres.

We have been busy all this week collecting plastic waste from all of the households in the school and in just three days we have gathered 38 bags of plastic waste! Stay tuned to the website and blog for more information over the coming days and weeks as we update you on our project.

Australia Day!

It was ‘Australia Day’ on Monday. Alex’s granny sent us stickers all the way from Australia. We found Australia on the map and looked at the Australian flag. Freya and Evie told us that their grandparents live in Australia too. Happy Australia Day everyone!

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