The STEAM Committee were at it again with Robotics! They made Bristle Bots out of tootbrush heads, coin cell batteries, adhesive stickies and a motor. We learnt about circuits, wires and other components and we even got to race them!
The STEAM Committee carried out their 4th investigation into Strawberries. Where do they originate from? Why do they taste the way they do? How did they start growing in England? These are some of the questions we had during our Plant Science: Strawberries workshop with a Plantologist STEM Ambassador. We discovered that strawberries made their way to Europe from an expedition run by a spy! On orders from King Louis XIV, a military engineer by the name of Amedée François Frézier sailed through the pirate-infested waters of the Atlantic and around Cape Horn to map the area and collect intelligence. Frézier posed as a merchant and spent his days reading. On one of the scouting missions in Chile, he happened upon a strawberry plant and the strawberries were huge and juicy! He wanted to bring the plant back to France so he did. The plant survived the terrible on board conditions and made its way back to France. However, the French couldn’t duplicate the plant as it would grow smaller and produce tiny bitter fruit. Another expedition to the east coast of America, allowed for the military engineer to collect another strawberry plant and cross breed. This was successful and that is how strawberries made their way to Europe.
The STEAM Committee were very interested in the science of how strawberries grow and Miss Hawron explained that they are runner plants and are asexually reproducing so they create clones of themselves and they don’t pollinate.
We asked many questions and learned a lot about the career of a Plantologist who specialises in plant diseases and even saw pictures of our Ambassador on the job. What an educational and fun experience. Not to mention we got to taste and describe strawberries!
Then we planted our own strawberry seeds so that, we can care for them, watch them grow and in a few months we can eat them!
The STEAM Committee shared their learning and investigations with the whole school. They even gave a live demonstration of their Art Robots and Rockets! They spoke confidently about their designs and results and were excited to share news for upcoming Science investigations and dates for the whole school!
The STEAM Committee had a chance to use simple circuits to create a robot that can make art! Can you believe it? The STEAM members connected a battery pack to a motor and attached these to a cup. Then added felt tip pens evenly on the sides to create balance so the Robot can create art! Finally, the young budding scientists used cork and lollipop sticks to give the robot balance so it wouldn't fall over!
For the STEAM Committee's first CREST Awards challenge they designed rockets using ‘Aerodynamics’ (an object having a shape which reduces the drag from air moving past.) It was really important to think about forces, gravity and air resistance so that the Rockets would be able to cut through the air quickly and reach a far instance in a short amount of time! The STEAM members started to think about what other air crafts had in their design features that would help them. Common design features included a pointed tip or nose and wings, as this would help our rockets to cut through the air and keep balanced when flying. The rockets were tested outside on the playground using a metre stick to measure distance. The variable that was changed on the second test was weight. Two paper clips were added to the wings would make a difference. And guess what it did! The extra weight slowed out rockets down.
The STEAM Committee conducted their first investigation today! Thir first project was to team up with Practical Action, a foundation which works with indigenous communities and people in poverty around the world to help find solutions that can change their world. Smoky Homes tells the story of the Nepalese people who do not have access to the infrastructure of other developed countries, so they cook their food on make-shift stoves. This poses a huge number of risks to health and safety as the STEAM Commitee found out! From risk of burns to inhaling the equivalent of 400 cigarettes per hour due to smoke inhalation, cooking in Nepal is risky business. Our Scientific Question: How to create a stove that funnels smoke out of the home? Take a look at the investigation process and the models we made! Work to be proud of!