In Year Three, we started the day by exploring our maths topic in the outdoors. We used things outside to aid our division by sharing or grouping. Most of the children replicated use of resources in a bar model using things they found outside! We then completed another task using natural resources and clay. We used the resources to explore creating patterns in the clay. The children rolled, moulded, imprinted, pressed and squeezed to make the patterns. We finished the day with a discussion around engineers and celebrated female engineers in particular. We discussed things around us in our immediate environment that would have required engineer input and the children suggested things that they could create or innovate to improve them like an engineer!
Year 4 Stem Day 2020
The children in Year 4 have had great fun taking part in the first STEM day of the school year. The theme of the day was bridges. At the start of the day, the children were introduced to the task:
“As a pair, design a new bridge which will be built for trains to cross the Thames Estuary. Once designed, produce a model. The model needs to be at least 1 metre in length, 30cm in width and 40cm high. The bridge must support itself and be stable”.
The children started by learning about the different ways to support a bridge. They learnt about a Lattice truss, a Warren truss and a Pratt truss, and then they tried to make these trusses about of paper.
After that, the children began to design their bridge, they thought about what equipment they would need and then started to plan how they would construct it by writing step-by-step instructions.
In the afternoon, the children were keen to start constructing their bridges. Classrooms were filled with newspaper, dowling sticks, sellotape, scissors and string!
All the children tried hard making their bridges. Many children showed great perseverance and kept adapting their designs in order to be successful.
The final task was to evaluate their finished bridges. Have a look at the photos to see our brilliant bridges!
For STEM day this year, our theme in Year 5 was wind. We looked at wind resistance in nature how birds build their nests to be weatherproof and to protect their young from the elements. In class, we watched videos of birds building nests and learnt specifically about robins. We learnt that nests have to be light, strong and made from flexible materials that are also supportive and won’t break. We looked at how robins move with materials in their mouths and how they put them together. We shared our ideas on what robins collect to make their nests before heading outside ourselves to the school garden to gather materials and build our own. We had great fun taking on the challenge of finding suitable nesting sites that are protected from the elements – especially wind and rain. Year 5 learnt that robins cannot use glue, cement or anything else to affix their nests. We tried our hand at building nests as birds would, with the materials available outside: twigs, grass, leaves and moss. We did however use our hands and not our beaks!
Year 6 have had a fantastic day exploring the human body as part of STEM day. We started the day by investigating the human skeleton. We discussed the purpose of the skeleton and we learned that the hand has 27 different bones! Our investigation was to find out about our own bodies by measuring different parts. We used rulers to measure our height, arm and leg length, foot length and hand span. We used string to measure our head circumference. We collated our results and displayed these in our class results table. This was helpful to spot patterns and make conclusions.
Our second activity involved creating and evaluating a model finger. The purpose of the model was to demonstrate how the tendons help to move the bones in the finger. We used a range of resources to help us, including string, card and tape. After our creations were complete, we evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of our products and thought about how we could improve our designs in the future.
Our final task was to investigate the best materials and structures to protect the brain. We created a ‘skull’ by using different materials such as: bubble wrap, tissue paper, straws, paper and fabric. This was secured around the brain (a chocolate teacake!) and we dropped them to test the effectiveness of the structure. We found that those who used bubble wrap or a cylindrical shape were the most effective in protecting the brain.