Friday, 26 May 2017

Blast off!

This week Class 5 made 'pop rockets' using film canisters and alka-seltzer tablets. 
After this, they used the test results to plan a new scientific enquiry to answer a question of their choice. Just for fun, we made it a competition - the person who designed the best investigation would get to carry it out at the end of the week. 
The children came up with lots of great questions to investigate and designed their own comparative and fair tests. 
The winning investigation was chosen because the child who designed it could recognise which variables needed to be controlled. 
On Friday (today) we carried out the winning investigation to answer the question: Will the size of the piece of alka-seltzer tablet affect how high the rocket goes? 
We controlled the variables (kept the same): the size and type of canister, the amount of water used, the time at which the tablet was dropped into the canister. This made it a fair test to ensure we could answer the question without these variable affecting our results. 
We needed to change the size of the piece of alka-seltzer tablet. We needed to use one quarter of a tablet in one canister, and one half of a tablet in another canister to be able to compare and see which one went the highest. 
We needed to measure which canister went the highest to answer our question. 
Before we carried out the investigation everyone made a prediction based on their scientific knowledge. 
In the end, everyone got to carry out the investigation. It was great fun and even better to be outside learning on such a beautiful day.
The results showed that the bigger piece of tablet made the canister go higher. We also observed that the canisters with the bigger pieces of tablet 'lifted off' before the canisters with smaller pieces. We concluded that the larger piece of tablet made the rocket go higher (and launch more quickly) because more carbon dioxide was released. The carbon dioxide gas filled up all the space inside the canister and continued to expand, forcing the lid off and the rocket to launch. 
Finally, we set the rockets off with a whole tablet! They went even higher, but we noticed that not all of the tablet was used up. This means that not all of the tablet was needed to launch the rocket. One half of a tablet is the optimum amount of fuel needed to launch the film canister rockets.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Tuesday evening, around eight...

Today we started learning about a new book - Tuesday by David Wiesner. It's really funny and mysterious. We have to figure out what happened and write a Police report about the strange incidents of Tuesday evening.

Phases of the moon with Oreos!

Today we learned how ideas about the universe have changed over time. In 140 A.D. Ptolemy took measurements of the sky and came up with the 'geocentric theory' - that the Earth was the centre of the universe, and all the other planets and the sun orbited the Earth. This idea was believed until Galileo published the 'heliocentric theory' in the 1600s which stated that the sun was the centre of the universe. This idea was first discovered by Copernicus in the 1500s, but unfortunately he died in the same year as his discovery. Sadly for Galileo his theory got him into big trouble with the authorities. He was convicted of 'heresy' (having ideas that were different from the church) and put in prison.
We also learned about the phases of the moon and made models of the lunar cycle using Oreos! Yum!

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Learning about the relative distances from the sun and the relative sizes of the planets in the solar system.

Class 5 learned about the relative distances of the planets in the solar system from the sun.
They also learned about their relative sizes. They used different sized balls and toilet roll to model the solar system. This called for problem solving and maths skills, science knowledge and a lot of collaboration.