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Discover Primary Science & Maths Application Camross N.S. 2017 - 2018

Welcome to our submission for the Discover Primary Science and Maths award for 2018. This is our 2nd year taking part in the Awards! This year we are applying for the Plaque of STEM Excellence, an award which is given to schools that carry out extensive work in science, technology, engineering and maths.

A huge amount of work has gone into this, well done to all the pupils and teachers who took part. This year we are using Adobe Spark to submit our award and to compile our log of evidence of all the work undertaken by our pupils throughout the year.

Step 1: Science For this step, we carried out hands-on Science investigations under the four different strands Energy & Forces, Living Things, Environmental Awareness & Care and Materials in all classes throughout the school. We also tried to include Maths in these investigations where possible, linking in with Step 4.

Energy & Forces

Seniors & 1st class investigated magnets. They tested out what was magnetic and what wasn't in their classroom.

Junior & Senior Infants investigated how heat can change materials.

Juniors & Seniors discovered that when heat was used on bread, butter and an egg they all changed.
At Halloween in Juniors & Seniors we explored floating and sinking, we discovered fruit and lollipops with their plastic wrapper still on floated and were easier to get when dunking but money and hard sweets sank and were really tough to get when dunking.
In 3rd & 4th we designed paper helicopters, we used our maths skills to measure the different blade lengths, angles and used different shapes in our designs. We tested our various designs in order to find the 'best' helicopter. We discovered the helicopter with the longer rotor blades took longer to reach the ground.
Juniors & Seniors exploring pushing and pulling in their classroom.

Materials

In 2nd class we were learning all about volcanoes so we made a volcano out of papier mache. We mixed baking soda and vinegar to create a volcanic explosion. We did this experiment outside just to be on the safe side.
2nd class also created 'Magic Expanding Hands' using bread soda and vinegar again. We could see how the vinegar mixed with the bread soda in the glove to create a gas which filled up the glove and made it expand.
In 3rd & 4th we created winter trees in art and then added salt to our artwork to create texture. We discovered that the salt absorbs or soaks up the water through a chemical action. It also made our artwork look really cool.
Juniors & Seniors tested various materials to see how good they were at absorbing liquids and to test their water proof effectiveness. Some materials were far more absorbent than others.

Living Things

All pupils from Juniors to 6th class planted cress seeds, peas, runner beans, daffodil, hyacinth and tulip bulbs and monitored their growth over time. Pupils also became familiar with the different parts of a plant and can successfully name and identify each part of the plant.

A selection of some of the plants we planted this year. We can successfully identify the parts of a plant too.
Juniors & Seniors learnt all about hedgehogs and then in art they made hedgehogs using recycled materials (Cardboard packaging) because we care about our environment and like to reuse materials when we can. We think our hedgehogs look pretty cool.
3rd & 4th researched the vegetables we grew in our school garden and using a 5 senses poem format we created poems about vegetables. We had fun combining our poetry and science skills.
Juniors & Seniors learnt all about their 5 senses and drew diagrams illustrating how their 5 senses help them explore and understand their environment.
Senior Infants & 1st Class learnt all about the life cycle of the frog. They completed projects on frogs.

Environmental Awareness & Care

Throughout the seasons all classes took the camera out and about in our school environment on a nature trail and found some interesting creatures and plants.
In 3rd & 4th we studied the environmental artist Andy Goldsworthy, then we gathered items from nature in our own school environment and created our own wonderful 'Land Art'
In September our new Juniors went on a nature walk in our local school environment we found lots of mini beasts in our newly ploughed playground.
Juniors & Seniors explored outer space in Aistear, they created all the planets using papier mache. We had lots of fun.
Our whole school went on a trip to Glendine in the Slieve Blooms we explored our local natural environment, we found tadpoles, bones, plants, mini beasts, lots of trees, we explored the river bed, we built mini beast hotels for all the local creepy crawlies and above all we had lots of fun. When we returned to the classroom we recorded our findings.

Science Speakers

As part of our Active Schools Week we invited the local branch of The Irish Red Cross in to visit us. We got an opportunity to carry out basic first aid exercises, explore the inside of an ambulance, perform CPR and of course ask lots of questions.

We really enjoyed the visit of The Irish Red Cross.

Step 2: Technology In the second step, we had to ensure that technology was used by our pupils. We use technology every day in our classrooms and love to show off our learning through the use of technology, here are some examples of our use of technology.

Sharing our learning through technology

5th & 6th class pupils made a presentation using Microsoft Word on what slime is and how to make it. We had great fun creating our own slime. They even gave us a table quiz on their presentation afterwards to make sure we were paying attention.

Presenting Projects using Technology

Pupils in 3rd - 6th classes presented projects on the four different types of bullying using both charts and interactive technology to inform and educate us on how to identify the different types and what to do if we are affected by or witness bullying of any kind. The pupils used the internet to research their projects.

Throughout all classes in the school, pupils of every age have also used cameras, laptops, Smartboards, Ipads, Smartphones, Audacity, PowerPoint and Microsoft Word to enhance and extend our learning.

3rd & 4th class use Storybird every week during literacy stations to write wonderfully creative stories and poems. We love using technology to enhance our learning, in 3rd & 4th during both Literacy & Numeracy Stations each week we use the following websites and programmes, Storybird, Nessy Fingers, Wordle, Spelling city, Khan Academy, Polygon Playground and Topmarks. We use computers a lot to research our projects and we use either Adobe Spark or PowerPoint to present our findings to the rest of the school community using our interactive Smartboards.

We also use our school twitter account and our school website to showcase the work that we are doing during the course of the year across the curriculum but especially in area of science and maths, we continue to implement technology in our day to day teaching and learning.

Step 3: Engineering For the third step of our application for the DPSM Plaque of STEM Excellence, pupils in 3rd to 6th class took part in our annual Scarecrow Building Competition. This year the theme of our Scarecrow Competition was Influential Figures. Entries included Tom Crean, Stephen Hawking, President Michael D. Higgins, Grace O'Malley, Nelson Mandela and Michael Collins. A number of structures were tried and tested before final structures were decided upon.

Scarecrow Building Competition

Construction Stations

Construction stations were introduced in all classrooms. They proved a great hit especially on wet days. Juniors & seniors built rockets, 5th & 6th built the Titanic and London Bridge, while all classes used Lego, Mobilo, Stacking cyclinders, Unifix cubes, straws, Jenga blocks and K'nex to explore their imaginations and build their wildest dreams.

House Building

Juniors & Seniors used their engineering skills to construct a home for a witch following their reading of the story Room on the Broom. They used lots of recycled materials in their designs.

Leaning Towers of Pasta

2nd class undertook the engineering challenge of building the tallest strongest tower they could using only uncooked spaghetti and marshmallows. They had great fun designing and constructing their towers and they got to eat the marshmallows when they finished. Yummy Engineering!

Step 4: Maths Throughout our Science investigations, we incorporated Maths where possible, For example, we used bar graphs to record our science results and a number of classes made use of the school environment through the use of maths trails.

Shape Hunt

3rd & 4th went on a shape hunt around the school environment. We found lots of shapes and used tally marks to record our findings, then we made bar graphs to present our findings.
3rd & 4th measured a lap of our school environment and each day all classes complete as many laps as possible. 3rd & 4th class decided this year to 'Run Around Europe' as part of our Blue Star Programme to date we've traveled from Laois to Cork to Wexford to Cardiff to London to Paris to Brussels and we are currently on our way to Amsterdam. We've traveled over 1,000km to date!

The school also took part in Maths Week in October 2017 when all classes participated in maths trails around our school environment.

Maths Trails

3rd & 4th class out and about on a lines and angles maths trail during Maths Week 2017.

Measuring

3rd & 4th using trundle wheels to measure the perimeter and area of various spaces in our playground. We used tally marks to record the number of metres the trundle wheel measured for the length and width of each space and then calculated the perimeter and area of the space.

Step 5: STEM Showcase Throughout the year both our Health Promoting School Committee and Our Green School Committee made numerous presentations to all classes throughout the year on both Green and Health issues utilizing technology on many occasions. All classes were invited out to view and judge our Scarecrows. Pupils presented experiments to their own class and to other classes to showcase their learning and knowledge.

Materials & Change

5th & 6th class pupils showcased their learning by utilizing technology and creating a power point presentation on 'The Coke Volcano'. When they finished explaining the science behind their experiment they carried it out for all to see.

The demonstration was very entertaining and they even gave us a quiz on the experiment afterwards.

Living Things

A number of pupils brought in their pets throughout the year and spoke to each class about their pets needs, how they care for their pets, what their pet eats, how much exercise their pet needs and their pets grooming habits.

This year we've had dogs, cats, lizards and even a wild goat heard of our interest in animals and came to visit us too.

Healthy Living Showcase

Members of our hard working Healthy Promoting Schools Committee as part of their health promotion drive came to every class and informed us about the benefits of healthy eating. They even prepared a colourful healthy platter and delicious smoothies for us all to sample.

Yummy, healthy eating can be tasty.

Teeth and oral hygiene

Members of our Health Promoting Schools Committee visited every class and provided a talk and demonstration on how to take good care of your teeth and gums.

We hope you enjoyed reading our submission!

Credits:

Created with images by agsandrew - "Speed of Particles"

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