Home Science and STEM Parents – Inspiring visits, experiments and sharing information
Thank you to all those sharing exciting science experiments and practicals with us over British science week. We loved the great idea from a young scientist in Reception class who experimented with finger prints on bread and compared the mould growth (all in sealed bags of course!) this teaches us to wash our hands with soap and water before eating our dinner. There was a huge difference in the germs on the bread with the dirty hands! We also loved the idea of using Pine cones as a way of measuring the weather conditions! We will try hanging some cones in our own weather station in the outdoors science lab!
We also loved hearing from many of you about your work, especially the work in Toxicoly and Chemical safety and look forward to a class visit next term to find out more, electronic engineering, product design the chemistry qualifications involved with hairdressing and beauty therapy and Food Technology. It really is inspiring to us all when visitors email or come in to share their work with us.
It’s also been great hearing about your feedback from visits to the national Big Bang Science and Engineering Showcase event at the NEC in Birmingham. Please comment on the link below if you would like to share your experiences of that.
A key message is if you enjoy applying Science, designing, problem solving, fault finding, communications or computers then engineering is a great career for you!
Tim Peake’s Rocket seeds will soon be with us!
At 04:26am on Tuesday 2nd March, Commander Scott Kelly of NASA and Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Sergey Volkov of Roscosmos landed safely back on Earth in Kazakhstan. The seeds then travelled with Scott Kelly to NASA in Houston on a charter flight from Moscow, Russia and returned to the UK on Thursday. Project staff are now getting ready to pack them up so they can be sent to us along with our Rocket Science experiment pack in April!
This news is perfect timing to help inspire Science enquiries and research throughout the school in our British Science week (the official date is the 11th-20th March).
Do seeds which have been subjected to zero gravity behave differently to those on Earth?
What do you think? Year 2 have enjoyed investigating the conditions required for seed germination and healthy growth. The results are shown above and below and really surprised us all. We discovered that the mustard seeds grown without cotton wool under 24 hours light in the light bank did not germinate but the cress seeds under the same conditions on the window sill did germinate and grow quite well despite no growing medium!
Does this mean too much light prevents germination or was it due to the type of seed making a difference? How long can the plants grow without any growing medium? We will repeat this again using the same type of seed to find out more!
We also discovered that the seedlings grown in the dark grew twice the height of those in daylight and were yellow. We think this teaches us that there is a lot of energy stored in the seed to get plants off to a good start and they are willing to invest it all in growth in their search for light. We are wondering how long they can grow without light and what will happen if they don’t get any.
Seeds grown without light were very spindly
The leaves were yellow and stems 5 times taller than those in the light!
The magnified seeds that were grown in the dark. Tall thin stems searching for the light. Scientists call this etiolation, a process in flowering plants grown in partial or complete absence of light.
The plants grown under the light bank were far more developed than those on the window sill.
The plants grown under our light bank were far more advanced than those grown on the window sill. We couldn’t believe the difference in the height of the beans, some were 10 times taller.. This does prove to us that the amount of light really does matter and that growth and plant development can be accelerated by it. Following on from our experiments we have been learning more in books and have been finding out that plants use Photosynthesis which is the process where plants use the energy from the sunlight (or light bank) to produce glucose which they will use as their source of energy to grow. For this they need carbon dioxide which they take in through their leaves and water which they absorb through their roots. Some bacteria can also use this amazing process of photosynthesis too.
Willow Class Seed Investigation – What do seeds need to germinate and grow into healthy plants? They researched the effect of light, heat and growing medium (cotton wool).
We cant wait to receive our Rocket seeds to check our predictions. Year 5 children will be taking responsibility for growing these very special seeds for us and be taking part in Tim Peake’s RHS Space seed research.
This week in school, all children are being encouraged to get involved in doing science at home with their families by researching a scientific question of their choice. This is not intended to be an expensive or time consuming activity, just a little time to get involved in finding out something more about science and engineering. Further details are included in the science week letter that is being sent home. Children can share their findings with their class in a show and tell session. Parents and carers are being invited to share their STEM professions to help broaden the children’s knowledge of the purpose and application of science, engineering, technology and maths to help inspire the children towards future STEM careers. Please return the science week questionnaire if you are keen to take part.
Other activities throughout the week include children sharing their Science activities across the world! New class emails have been set up to make links across the Atlantic Ocean and beyond to share our research on British scientists, surveys on British food, native plants and favourite school experiments.
Finally, information about the spectacular and unmissable FREE Big Bang fair is also included in the letter. This showcase of science and engineering has something for everyone. From careers advice, shows, stands and demonstrations to inspirational speakers, its a huge celebration and exhibition of the best in STEM. It takes part on 16th – 19th March at Birmingham NEC book NOW for your free tickets and enjoy a very inspiring and mind blowing day out!
For more details see https://evclawson.wordpress.com/2014/10/19/engineering-in-action/
What would you like to invent, create or engineer? From amazing big wheels to lift boats to another canal, beautiful metal sculptures of mythical horses to steam trains and technology for the future let’s find out all we can this week to celebrate the amazing work of STEM in Britain.