We are currently hard at work on various projects. Some of us have chosen a topic to research and prepare, others have decided to write fiction books. A lot of us are entering a variety of handwriting and art competitions. Some of us are even finished and are tackling other crafts! Here we are during Project Time/Golden Time on Friday.
We were really lucky today to get a little bunch of visitors: Tadpoles!!!! Aoibhe has some in her garden pond, and she brought a few of her little friends for us to watch them grow in the classroom. She said that most of the frogspawn has grown up into tadpoles at this stage, and we can assure you that they are getting better at swimming every day!
(To see the Department of Education Frogspawn Collection license, please click here.)
We are always looking for ways to reduce our plastic waste in our classroom. We have just discovered another area where we can help to reduce microplastics in our oceans. It's our very own clothes! We watched a video about how tiny fibres from clothing get washed away in our washing machines, and end up travelling up the foodchain from tiny sea-creatures to our own tables (fish fingers for tea, anyone?!)
After the video, we checked our own clothing and discovered that we are wearing a variety of natural and man-made fibres. Have a look at these three arms. One is mostly acrylic, one is mostly polyester, and one is 100% cotton. Can you guess which is which?
Click the 'Read More' button to see the answer!
Our engineering education continued today with a visit from Dr Kevin, who is a civil engineer! He has worked on engineering projects around the world and also lectured in NUIG. He taught us about bridges today, and left us with a few engineering challenges to complete after St. Patrick's Day!
First of all, he taught us a little bit of the meaning of the word 'engineer' and Latin words it comes from. Then he explained that while Civil Engineers work with all sorts of structures, he was going to talk to us about bridges. We learned that until the Industrial Revolution in the 1700s, most bridge were simple and fairly small. As humans developed better technology, bridges and engineering got better, safer and more impressive!
While we listened, we kept sketches of some of the different types of bridges. We looked at simple arch bridges and beam bridges, to very impressive Roman aqueducts that still exist today! We saw how maths, science, engineering and technology improved bridge building to include truss bridges, suspension bridges, cable stayed bridges and cantilever bridges.
We then used some simple experiments to see how beam bridges and cantilever bridges work.
After that, we watched some fascinating videos of how important it is to have good engineering for bridges. One was the Tacoma Narrows bridge in Washington state, USA. This bridge collapsed in an ordinary wind speed because it had started vibrating and twisting unusually. The second video was more recent - the Millennium pedestrian bridge in London, England. This bridge had very wide and low suspension, and it started to vibrate as soon as crowds of people walked across it. It had to be closed and re-engineered with 'dampers' to reduce the vibration.
We got a surprise when one of the next slides had a picture of our teacher when she was our age at the top of a new suspension bridge! (She's obviously been planning this lesson for a while...)
At the end of the lesson, Dr Kevin gave us a little preview of the challenges he has left us: marshmallows! Sounds SWEET!
We were delighted to have a visitor today who is an engineer! Gabriel showed us how many different types of engineering affect our daily lives, from our kettles, cars and cameras, to the glasses we wear to see better! He explained to us that he is an Automation Engineer, which means he writes the software that controls real life ROBOTS! We saw a video of the robots in action with engineers working alongside them. We were curious as to where the robots came from, and Gabriel told us that ANOTHER robot made them! This reminded us of the chicken and egg riddle (which we still haven't solved) but at least we discovered today that a human has to make the first robot, and then all the others can be made after that!
We were excited to work with some electrical circuits next, which were more complicated than the ones we had looked at earlier this year. We followed a schematic to connect the wires to the correct fuses, switches, detectors and lights, and when we were finished, Gabriel helped us check over our work.
Next, we put on some safety glasses, and our machines were connected to the power source. We all built metal detector machines, and once the circuit was completed by flipping the switch 'on', we could hold a piece of metal to the detector and the light would go on (or off, depending on which machine we had built). If we held another material beside the detector, such as plastic, there was no change in the light. It was AMAZING! We realised we were real engineers!
Before Gabriel left, he gave us all a bookmark with our names on them, and our very own robot keyrings for our pencilcases! Thank you Gabriel!!!
Today was World Book Day 2019! We all have our coupons ready to shop with, and we also drew our favourite characters from our favourite books (or at least one of them! It was hard to choose!) We also visited our friends in the preschool and had a great time reading with them. Their books are so interesting, and they even brought us some delicious biscuits as a treat!
4th, 5th and 6th in the prefab!
|Headford Girls NS||
Ms McNamara's Class