Our work as engineers continues... and this time we decided to create a game to play with some of the younger students. We worked in pairs to first come up with some design ideas, then worked with materials such as paper, card, pipe cleaners and toothpicks to create a marble maze! By moving the paper plate from side to side, students have to try and manoeuvre the marble through the maze.
Some mazes included ramps, tunnels and added levels of difficulty with a scoring system, a time trial and a hidden hole in the maze! It was great fun and we're really looking forward to sharing our work with the younger students at our STEM showcase!
We wondered if it would be possible to make a bridge out of a single sheet of paper that would be strong enough to hold at least 8 coins! Before commencing the activity, we had to make sure that it would be a fair test, and decided which books and copybooks we would use at both sides of our bridge, and measured 15cm for the 'river'.
There were lots of different designs, and many of them were very strong! We discovered that we could strengthen the paper by changing its shape, and by spreading the load on the bridge, it could be made stronger. Some of our bridges were able to hold large calculators and heavy pencilcases!
In 4th and 5th, we have been investigating the work of engineers. We spoke about different bridges we have visited or seen before, and compared the different shapes. We paid a visit to the village of Ballylooby to investigate the two bridges there - a road bridge and a foot bridge. Both of these are arch bridges. Other types of bridges include suspension bridges, truss bridges and beam bridges. We noticed the lines and angles, and made comparisons and contrasts. Wood was used in the footbridge, while the road bridge is made of stone - it needs to be much stronger to hold the weight of the traffic that passes through Ballylooby every day!
In Senior Infants, we read the story 'The First Hippo on the Moon' and decided to build our own rockets. We used three types of materials and tested which material would fly the furthest. We used plastic, cardboard and paper. We flew our rockets outside to test. We discovered that a plastic rocket flew the furthest.
Investigating gravity with parachutes
Senior Infants used the Engineers Week resource to learn about gravity. They had the task of designing a parachute for Tom the teddy. Tom left materials on their desks so Senior Infants could build a parachute for him and give him a soft landing. The materials they received were tissue paper, cloth and paper. Everyone estimated the best type of parachute material. Then they designed a parachute with these materials and used wool and a small toy to test them. In the end, the tissue paper worked the best!
We've all heard of paper aeroplanes, but in 4th/5th, we decided to try designing paper helicopters instead! Some students in the class had seen a real helicopter up close. We spoke about the propellers and their function. It also reminded us of the 'helicopter seeds' from the sycamore tree. We recalled what we already knew about gravity.
The shape of the helicopter rotor blades make it spin when dropped from a height. Gravity pulls the helicopter down. The air resists the movement and pushes up each rotor separately, causing the helicopter to spin.
We tried a large template and a smaller template and tested them against each other. We added a paperclip on the end to add a little weight - this helped the helicopter to spin!
Budding engineers in Senior Infants
In Aistear, we were working hard with our 'Transport' theme. We constructed different modes of transport with playdough. We also built modes of transport and areas you would find them like an airport, train station, etc. with our blocks and sitck-o-bricks.
DESIGNING SAIL CARS FOR THE PIRATE QUEEN
We have been learning all about fishing in Ireland. One of the most interesting parts of this unit was when we learned about the story of Granuaile/Gráinne Mhaol (or Grace O Malley), who was a famous Irish pirate queen. In groups, we designed, planned and created sail cars, that would help Gráinne to get around both on land and at sea. We tested them with a hairdryer to see if they really would set sail with a gust of wind! Afterwards, we assessed our designs and identified how we could improve them for the future.
Designing our own towns!
For Aistear, we work on four different stations over four days. Our theme for Aistear this week was 'Town Life'. We had two stations that helped us become engineers. We used the story 'Bear About Town' to help us with our work. We looked at the map in the book. We planned, designed and created our own town maps. We also used building blocks and stick-o-bricks to design our own towns.