Fourth Class STEM Science Environmental Awareness and Care – Making Medieval Castles from recycled materials 4th Class pupils had been learning about the Normans during their History lessons. As an extension to this, they decided to create their very own medieval castles. Prior to this, both 4th Classes discussed how they could construct their castles in a way that would be as environmentally friendly as possible. We all know that we each have a responsibility to care for our environment. A decision was made to use shoe boxes, which the pupils brought from home, as well as left over scrap paper from previous art lessons, cereal boxes, lollipop sticks, straws, pipe cleaners, unused string and tissue roll holders. How fantastic do they look? You did an amazing job, 4th Class! Living Things – Plants in the Local Environment 4th Class pupils embarked on their annual ‘Nature Trek’ walk. Prior to this event, the pupils learned about the various trees in the locality. The pupils were tasked with locating these trees while on their ‘Nature Trek’ and collecting the leaves of these trees for later inspection. The pupils worked in groups to complete their ‘Nature Trek’ checklist. On returning to the classroom, the pupils compared, contrasted and discussed their findings. Materials – Parachutes 4th Class pupils enjoyed experimenting with various materials to make parachutes. The pupils used string, paperclips, tissue, plastic, tinfoil and paper to construct their parachutes. Then, they dropped the parachutes from the same height before determining the most suitable material. The did this by recording the time taken for each parachute to reach the ground. Plastic and tinfoil were found to be the best out of all materials tested. Light – Optical illusion: 3D Hand 4th Class pupils tried their hands at a 3D optical illusion drawing. We hope you like them! We love to look at them from different angles. Light – Optical illusion: Fish in tank! During the Science Week show, 4th Class pupils watched John Sharpson create a ‘fish in bowl’ optical illusion craft. The pupils thought it looked amazing, so we decided to try it out. First, we drew a fish and a fish tank on separate pieces of paper. Next, we attached the drawings to a straw, back to back. Then, we spun the straw between our hands to see the fish “appear” in the bowl. It is such an effective optical illusion and was great fun. Pupils created many different types of fish, as well as very interesting variations of tank. Check out our pictures above. This is Science Week! 4th Class pupils kicked off Science Week with a live show that celebrated all things Science! The show was hosted by John Sharpson (‘Múinteoir John’ from RTÉ’s Home School Hub). John was joined by special guests, including Jason Smyth (the fastest Paralympian on the planet), Junior Einsteins Science Club and the education team from Castlecomer Discovery Park. 4th Class pupils learned about the communication methods of elephants, the eye, optical illusions, biodiversity and so much more! We look forward to taking part in some more Science Week activities this week. Materials – Bubble Wands This week, 4th Class pupils had great fun learning about bubbles. First, the pupils explored what it takes to make a bubble (an outer layer of soap molecules, a middle layer of water molecules and an inner layer of soap molecules). Next, the idea of bubbles and their colour was investigated. It was found that bubbles get their colour from the light waves that are reflecting in the middle layer. Then, we looked into the shape of bubbles. It was very interesting to learn that a sphere is the easiest shape for a bubble, as it holds the most air. Lastly, we set off to work on our very own bubble wands. We used pipe cleaners as our wands, which we moulded into many shapes (circle, heart, triangle, oval, square etc.). We dipped our wands into a solution of water and washing up liquid, before putting our wands to the test. 4th Class pupils discovered that, no matter what shape wand was used, the bubbles always appeared in the shape of a sphere. How amazing?! Technology Tech Week – Coding To celebrate Tech Week, 4th Class pupils learned all about ‘Coding’ with Mr Kelleher. Many of the pupils had tried coding before, so were extremely interested in and intrigued by this lesson. Thank you, Mr Kelleher! Project Research Ms Forde’s 4th Class pupils were hard at work researching information for their projects on Irish animals. They found the laptops very useful and were able to source some extremely interesting facts – some funny ones too! Volty – the friendly programmable robot! Ms Forde’s 4th Class had great fun putting their coding skills to the test. First, the pupils decided on a circuit track for Volty. Then, Volty had to be carefully programmed in order to follow the circuit track that was set out. This activity was great fun and really stimulated all of the curious minds within the class. If a mistake was made, the pupils re-coded and tried again. It is all part of the learning fun! Engineering Engineers Week – Design Your Own Playground As part of ‘Engineers Week’, 4th Class pupils took on the challenge of designing a playground. The pupils worked exceptionally well in their groups, by engaging in discussion, planning, executing their builds and reviewing their playground constructions. Pupils used a range of materials for their playgrounds, for example paper, lollipop sticks, straws, cupcake cases, pipe cleaners etc. We have no doubt that many of our 4th Class pupils would make excellent engineers. What do you think?! Electrical Engineering – String Telephones Ms Forde’s 4th Class pupils explored the work of an Electrical Engineer in creating their very own string telephones. A string telephone works very much like a landline phone. When you talk into the cup, your voice sends sound waves inside the cup, vibrating the bottom of the cup. The vibrations are transferred to the string, across the string and into the bottom of the other cup. We had lots of fun during this lesson. Engineers Week – Blasting Balloons 4th Class pupils loved learning about the work of Aeronautical Engineers, so much so that they became engineers for this lesson. The aim was to hit the balloon as far as possible, using hands only. First, the balloon was hit lightly and its distance was recorded. Then, the balloon was hit harder. It was found that, when the balloon was hit harder, its path was unpredictable and it did not always travel further. When a balloon is hit vigorously, it will not travel as far because of drag with the air surrounding it. When a balloon is hit gently, it does not affect the air around it as much as when it is hit harder. 4th Class pupils found this to be extremely interesting. We had so much fun carrying out this experiment. Let’s build a bridge – Ms Woods Let’s build a bridge – Ms Forde 4th Class pupils recently learned about various types of bridges, how they are created, supported and where they can be found. We explored a beam bridge, arch bridge, cable-stayed bridge and a truss bridge. Pupils shared lots of their own experiences of bridges and identified bridges here in Ireland, for example the Ha’penny arch bridge in Dublin. Next, the pupils were given the challenge of designing five bridges using books, paper and unifix cubes. Pupils created a single-sheet bridge, double-sheet bridge, arched bridge, walled bridge and corrugated bridge. Unifix cubes were piled onto each bridge in order to test their strength. First, pupils made predictions as to how many cubes each bridge would hold. Then, the bridges were put to the test. 4th Class pupils found the walled bridge to be the strongest, whereas the one-sheet bridge proved to be the weakest. We had so much fun during this experiment! Maths Shape and Space – 3D Shapes: Shape Nets 4th Class pupils used their learning of 3D Shapes to create some shape nets. It was cool to see all of the 3D shapes coming together. The pupils loved decorating their shape nets too! Shape and Space – 2D Shapes Ms Forde’s and Ms Woods’ 4th Class pupils have been learning about 2D Shapes. They were set the challenge of creating a shape using lollipop sticks (5 squares), and then had to remove two lollipop sticks to turn their shape into exactly 4 squares. The pupils really enjoyed this challenge! Next, we used the lollipop sticks from our challenge to create some of the shapes that we had been learning about (square, rhombus, rectangle, parallelogram, circle, triangle etc.). When making these shapes, it was very important for the pupils to remember that only the opposite sides of a rectangle/parallelogram are equal, and not all four sides. The pupils did such an amazing job! Shape and Space – Angles in the environment 4th Class pupils have been very busy learning about ‘Angles’, in particular acute, obtuse and right angles. Firstly, the pupils used some pipe cleaners to identify angles in their textbook. Then, they put their learning to the test and tried to identify some angles within the classroom. The pupils found that there were a lot more angles within their surroundings, than what they had predicted. This activity was lots of fun! STEM Show and Tell 3D Printing – 5th Class come for a visit! Ms Forde’s 4th Class were very lucky to have had two wonderful 5th Class pupils pop in to talk about 3D Printing. The 5th Class pupils were incredibly informative and displayed some amazing pieces of their own work. They even gave some of it away on the day! 4th Class cannot wait to have you both back for another ‘Show & Tell’ later in the year. Engineers Week Playground – Show and Tell Ms Forde’s 4th Class enjoyed showing their playground constructions to Mr Hogan’s Third Class. The 4th Class children were very creative in building the various playground equipment using paper, pipe cleaners, lollipop sticks and other recyclable bits. The Third Class children were very excited to learn about how this group constructed this playground.