STEM Day

Year 3

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

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!

Year 5

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

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.

STEM day 1st December 2020

Reception:

On Stem day the children in Reception learnt about circuits and got to experiment connecting the wires to the bulbs and batteries to see what happened.  Also, the children got opportunity to get messy with cornflour! They learnt when mixing it with water that it can appear as a liquid but when the children stopped it became more solid! 

Year 1:

The children enjoyed looking at patterns in our outdoor environment. This builds on the previous maths learning about repeated patterns and patterns with numbers. The children completed bark rubbing and compared the patterns made by different trees. They then used natural materials to create a pattern in clay. Afterwards the children discussed their observations, they were particularly fascinated by the leaf prints. This will support their learning in the summer term about plants.

In maths we discussed the days of the week and months of the year as many children observed that today was a new month. The children discussed the order of the days and months before putting them in order independently. This lead to some excellent discussions about events that happen in each month including celebrations and birthdays! This builds on our previous learning about celebrations in RE.

The children enjoyed using technology to learn about engineers and architects. They then had a chance to use their junk modelling to create their own sculptures. We saw some creative inventions including an elf catching device! Following this we explained that sometimes sculptures are sold at auction for different amounts of money. This lead to the children holding their own mini auction in class. The elf catching device raised a staggering £5000! The children thoroughly enjoyed this and this will help their future learning about money in maths lessons.

Year 2:

The children completed a variety of activities linking to space based on our recent English topics of ‘How to Catch a Star’ by Oliver Jeffers and the ‘Man on the Moon’ Christmas advert.  

The children’s first mission was to design their own suitable space suit. The children had to think about the conditions of Earth and ensure that their astronaut would survive in the spacesuit whilst being in outer space.  

Mission 2 was to learn about the different components needed in a communication device like a mobile phone, laptop or a ‘walkie talkie’ that astronauts might have in space. They learnt about the terms ‘Central Processing Unit’ and operating system and thought about features they already knew about like battery and memory. The children then designed and made their own mobile phone incorporating the components that make a phone.  

The children’s final mission was to learn about star constellations. They were able to view constellations on a virtual website https://stellarium-web.org/ and then create and name their very own constellation. 

Autumn 2019 STEM Day

Our STEM Day this November had the main theme of ‘Farmvention.’ This is to look into the future of farming in a changing world. Each year group chose a theme from one of the three categories: ‘Wool the Wonder Fabric,’ ‘Street Food Superstars’ and ‘Farm Machine: 2040. 

Reception-

In reception we looked at farm machinery and talked about what different machines are used for. We looked at the different parts of farm machinery and talked about which job they each did. The children then discussed what they thought would be a good idea for a farm machine to do on a farm with their learning partner, and then used junk modelling to create their own farm machines.

Year 1-

Year 1 completed a challenge from the Farmvention Website. They had to design an item of clothing made from wool. First we talked about where wool come from and the processes it went through before it was made into anything. We also talked about the qualities of wool being a warm material and the types of clothing we needed to be warm and the disadvantage that it is not waterproof. The children then designed an item of clothing that they thought would be good made from wool. Later on we looked at advertisements for clothing and talked about the important features of an advert. The children then made their own posters to advertise their clothing design.

Year 2-

We completed the Farmvention challenge of designing your own street food. The children went on a hunt in the year 2 corridor to find out facts about different food groups using ‘talk time’ cards (which gave them facts). They used this information to design their own street food and discussed the nutritional benefits. The children then created advertisement posters and presented them to the year group. There was an extra challenge to make their street food at home and it was fantastic to see the children enjoying this!

Year 3

For STEM day, Year Three entered a competition hosted by NFU Education for a new street food design to promote British produce. Firstly, the children learnt a little about British farming and harvesting. They talked about climate and condition and where our food comes from. We considered the food things that we buy in Tesco and decided to focus our designs on stuffed peppers.

After following a simple recipe to try out stuffing peppers, the children created their own designs with different fillings. Some of these were very adventurous, as we learnt in the final task where children had to market their product by creating an eye-catching poster and a TV or radio advert.

Year 4

At the start of STEM day we posed the question what are we going to be eating in 50 years? One answer was BUGS! We investigated this further by researching the environmental impact of eating bugs, the nutritional value, where they are eaten around the world and any concerns that we thought there might be.

We learned that bugs are eaten around the world by 2.5 billion people living in Asia, Australia and Africa. We also found out bugs are cold blooded, they contain lots of protein and that they take less space to raise than cattle.

After break, we investigated further the nutritional benefits of eating bugs. We created pictograms and bar graphs to present this information. We found out that the Giant Water Beetle has the highest amount of protein in it and the Weevil has the least, only 7g.

In the afternoon, we got creative and designed posters and leaflets to advertise a new product: The Bug Burger! We tried to make our work eye-catching and we tried to include facts that would entice others to try our Bug Burgers!

Here are some of the facts from one leaflet about a Giant Water Beetle Burger:

  • These burgers have 20g of protein – WOW!
  • They are much healthier than pork or beef.
  • Raising insects is much easier than raising cattle and doesn’t take up too much space!
  • This burger is very filling and delicious!
  • It’s better for the environment than normal burgers.
  • It tastes like a normal burger but much healthier.
  • Would you like to try one of these burgers?

Year 5

Year 5 took ‘Farm Machine: 2040’ as our topic for the day. The children knew from the beginning that in the afternoon they would need to design a farm machine fit for use in the year 2040 and be able to present their work as an advert or talk in front of their parents.

First, we looked at different types of farm machinery and brainstormed what we knew about farming. From tractors to pea harvesters, combines to crop sprayers, we looked at all different kinds of vehicles and machines found on farms and then at their mechanisms and workings. The children found out about gears, levers and pulleys before experimenting with force meters and investigating friction.

Year 5 then investigated some of the challenges facing farmers and what machinery would be needed in the future to meet these pressures. How can you farm underground? How about up a rocky mountain or on an urban rooftop? How will climate change and population growth affect the planet and what farmers will need to provide? The children talked about all of these things and then began to design machines to cope with these issues. Three designs each were whittled down to one, with a detailed and annotated explanation of why the machine was suitable for 2040. Then came the challenging bit: explaining our machines to parents and persuading them which one was the best!

Year 6

Wool, the wonder fabric!

In year 6, our challenge was to design a unique clothing product that uses wool, ‘the wonder fabric’. We started the day by learning about the history of sheep farming and how some of its uses have changed over time. We watched a short video that explained the process of sheep shearing and how the wool is transported to the factory to be cleaned and packed.

In order to identify the best material as an insulator for our clothing product, we carried out an investigation to test different materials. Each group was given a different material (cotton, wool, acrylic, polyester, nylon or bamboo) to test to see which was the best insulator. We ensured that our control variables remained the same in each group and measured the temperature at five minute intervals. The results helped us in designing our own clothing products as we were aware of the best insulators.

After carrying out our experiment, it was time to design. We worked together in pairs to create our own designs. We were inspired by mood boards and examples of existing clothing products. When designing, we had to think about the audience and purpose of our products.

In the afternoon, we had the opportunity to create an advert to promote our clothing product to each other. We used posters to attract the attention of our audience while trying to persuade them to buy our products. We were joined by our parents in the afternoon so that we could share our learning with them. We hope they enjoyed watching our adverts!