Year 5/6 learning plenty in Science

To finish off their unit on Natural Disasters and the effects they can have on Earth’s surface, Ungarie Central School year 5/6 students were given the task of designing and building an earthquakeproof structure using only mini marshmallows and toothpicks.

Their building had to occur on a bed of jelly, to make things a bit easier to shake when it came to the earthquake simulation. Students worked in small groups to quickly plan their building and then got stuck into building it.

After one storey was completed, students gave it a quick “earthquake” test, and if it survived in one piece, they proceeded to add on another storey, repeating this process until the time was up. There were three very successful structures built, one even going as far up as 4 storeys, though the fourth storey may have been its undoing in the final earthquake test.

The more successful designs incorporated 3D shapes, particularly triangles and prisms to help support their structure. Everyone worked well in their groups and there was lots of interesting problem-solving on display!

Yr 5/6 Science are learning about states of matter this term and began their unit with an experiment to observe what happens when ice and salt are mixed in a beaker.

Students made observations of the unused beaker to begin with, noting down how it felt, and then put ice, food colouring and salt into the beaker, stirring to mix them. They then made more observations on how the beaker felt, before wrapping the beaker in a tissue, and making a final observation of how the tissue felt after a few minutes.

The idea of this was for students to observe that there is water vapour in the air and when it touches the cold beaker, it will condense on the outside, making the tissue feel damp to the touch.

Students then prepared a snap lock sandwich bag with a drawing of a body of water, a bit of land leading into it, a tree standing on it, and clouds floating in the space above it. They poured some blue-coloured water into the bag, sealed it and then taped them to the windows in the lab, ready to make some observations in their next lesson.

The picture below shows that the bag has condensation on the inside, simulating rain forming as the sun heated the water inside the bag, to model the water cycle.

Source and Image Credits: Ungarie Central School Newsletter.

Last Updated: 05/06/2024By

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