twitter
rss

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites
23 Apr

Last week, 2nd class read a wonderful book called Iggy Peck Architect by Andrea Beaty. In this story there’s a little boy who is always building things. When he went on a school tour, the bridge to their picnic area collapsed and he and his class had to build a new bridge to get back across. This got us thinking about how we could make bridges. We looked at a few different types of bridges and their structures and talked about local bridges we know of. This was all under the strand of Energy and Forces.

We then got into pairs and drew a plan of the bridges we wanted to make. We looked at all the materials that were available to us and made a list of what we would need. Then we got our materials and worked together to build the best bridge that we could. We used paper plates to represent the river to make sure the bridges were wide enough. We also discussed the term ‘best’ and what it meant in this context. We decided it would mean that it held strong without being touched, that it went across the paper plate and that it was stable enough for a small figure to walk across it.

We came across some challenges as we went along, like not having enough of some materials, or the straws not being as strong as we thought they were. We learnt that they need a really solid, heavy base to stand and that it’s important to use enough tape so it doesn’t fall apart. We found that the strongest bridges tended to be corrugated paper ones.

Once we had our final bridges, we presented them to the class, discussing how we made them, challenges we had to overcome and how the result differed from out original plan. We also measured them in centimeters using our rulers. We are doing length in maths so it was interesting for us to see what made some taller than others. We also talked about how the ones that were 25cm and 50cm tall were the same as a quarter meter and a half meter.

 

We were delighted when we shared this on Twitter and Andrea Beaty (who wrote the book that got our ideas started) saw it and commented on it! As budding scientists, engineers and architects, our favourite quote from the book was

“There are worse things to do when you’re in grade two than to spend your time building a dream”.

 

19 Apr

5th class conducted an experiment this week using the strand energy and forces and the strand unit heat. The objective of the experiment was to measure and record temperature using a thermometer. The children had to compare the heat insulation properties of different materials. These materials included, aluminium foil, fabric and tissue paper. Each group had to ‘insulate’ their cups using the materials provided. Each group was given a recording sheet and the children had to check the temperature of each cup throughout the day.
When the children had finished their experiments, they wrote a short synopsis about the experiment and its results. They also calculated how much the temperature decreased between each reading. We discussed what insulation material worked best according to the children’s findings. We also discussed, as a class, what they learnt about heat insulation and what other ways they think we could carry out the experiment.

The children had great fun designing their heat insulators!

 

Recording their results

The children with their heat insulators

 

10 Apr

STEM challenge number 1: Design and make a paper aeroplane which can float.

6th class passed this test with flying colours 🙂 !! They were tasked with designing and making a floating paper aeroplane. With a homework pass at stake for the winning design, we had some heavy negotiations about the best and fairest test to grade our designs.  We decided that our floatplanes would need to carry/hold 5 marbles when floating.

We worked in pairs to design and make a paper floatplane.  It was important to use waterproof materials for this task, but also to ensure our designs could also function as planes.  We trialed many deigns both in the water and through distance flying.  We were allowed to measure the distances our planes travelled and also how long they floated and how much weight they could bear during the design process.  This helped us to improve design.

Here are some of our results!!

 

27 Feb

We were delighted to take part in the FIRST Lego League Competition in Galway again this year as part of our Lego Club. This was our third year to enter the competition and we had a brilliant time again.

There are 3 main elements to the competition – The Project, Core Values and The Robot Game & design

Problem

For the project this year we were asked to look at ways we find, use, transport and dispose of water and how we could improve this. We started looking at all the ways we use water in our lives. At Lego Club we split into groups and listed all the ways we use water every day. Then we wrote as many ideas down on ways we could save water. That’s how we came up with our idea.

 

Research

Through our research we found lots of interesting facts on water use.

  • One full basin of water holds 6 litres
  • Leaving the tap running in the kitchen sink uses 8 litres a minute.

 

Existing Solutions

Through our research we found there are 3 types of water – White Water, Black Water and Grey Water.

  • White Water is clean fresh water that comes into our home through pipes.
  • Black Water is water we use that we must dispose of – like toilet water.
  • Grey Water is water we use that could possibly be reused again.

 

Our Solution

We developed a solution that looks at saving “Grey Water” from the kitchen sink to reuse again. Not all water could be reused but water left running or water from washing vegetables can be reused.

Our idea started off originally with the idea of having a bowl or cup catch water in the sink but as we began talking about it we started to develop our idea into an under sink tank, splitting the waste pipe and with one switch instead of two.

We would reuse this water to water plants and bushes.

 

Manufacturing

We decided we wanted to make a prototype of our idea. We made a list of items we might need and took a trip to Woodies to see what we could find. In the plumbing section we compared pipes and fittings. We changed our mind on using a Pedestal Trap which was €12.49 and replaced it with a Double Ended Waste Pipe for €4.79 to keep the cost down. Our Flexi Waste Pipe cost €9.49 each and we picked up a storage box for €6.49

The total cost to manufacture our product from our figures is €30.26 but we reckon we could improve the quality of the water storage container and cut down on the overall cost by buying items directly from the manufacturer.

We would also like to create a bigger version of our idea with an outside storage tank and a pump which could be used to pump water to toilets or be used to water the garden in hotter countries.

Sharing

We have shared our idea with a number of people so far. We spoke with the local council. We also visited St. Kevin’s in Glendalough, who are also taking part in the competition, and shared our idea with them and competed in the FIRST Lego League Competition in Galway.

3. The Robot Game & Design

The third and final part of the competition is the Robot design and robot game. This involves programming the EV3 Lego mindstorm to complete missions around the Lego table. We found the missions challenging but really enjoyable.

21 Feb

Having taken a look at our school garden we agreed that it needed some love and attention.  We decided this was a project to work on in the school as part of both our Discover Primary Science and Maths project, and our sustainability project.  In 6th class we all drew our own pictures and wrote short descriptive pieces of writing about how our garden currently is.  We then put our landscaping skills to the test in planning how we would like our school garden to be.  We also did some video interviews on yard at break time with children from other classes to get some of their ideas.  We discussed possibilities and in the end we had to be realistic with what we were hoping to achieve.  Here is a sample of our garden transformation so far…

Dylan and Billy loosening the soil before we sow some flowers.   We realized we will be needing to give some TLC to the grassy areas.  We hope our finished garden will have lots of luscious grass.

Ms Barret working with Casey and Amber to fill our raised beds. We tried out a few different designs before deciding.

We decided to keep our other raised beds to sow some pumpkins.  First class are going to sow some pumpkins in the coming weeks.  We hope we will have a pumpkin for each class next Halloween.

Amber sowing a climber which will decorate our garden fence when it flowers.

Huge thanks to Liz for collecting some colourful welly boots to add even more colour. Any more old pairs are welcome.

Raised bed perimeters painted by Brooke, Kia, Kelsey, Brigid, Amber and Caithlin.  6th class working very hard to loosen soil by the fence and sow lots of daffodil bulbs which will hopefully flower for us next year.

We painted old tyres and sowed some flowers inside.

We found some nice ideas on Pinterest and we decided that because our garden is quite small in area, we need to make the most of the surrounding fence. We decided to recycle plastic bottles to make herb ladders. This process involved concentration and precision to ensure the bottles remained parallel. 6th class boys took the lead on this project.

Jerry and Maddie from 5th did some running repairs and positioned the herb ladders on the fence.

Senior infants are very inquisitive about the transformation which is happening in the garden during lunch times.

Second class taking advantage of the recent good weather and sowing our herbs into the herb ladders.

Ryan and Billy trying some new ideas for securing our bamboo bee hotels. We used bamboo with different diameters to attract multiple varieties of bees to our garden.

Billy experimenting with design features.

Brigid and Brooke making some more bee hotels.

Dylan and Ryan securing the bee hotels to the fence.

An injured bee found on yard was helped to the bee hotel. We hope he enjoys our new additions to the garden.

Handyman Dylan putting the finishing touches to our bug palace or Buggingham Palace as we like to call it!!

Dean and Kelsey are organizing the different areas of the palace to entice the minibeasts in.

Colourful tin can wind chime designed by Caithlin.

Ava joining us at lunch time to secure our wind chimes without restricting them.

Maddie positioning some bunting to further brighten our garden.

What a difference a fortnight of school makes.  So much work has been done by the children so far, with more projects in the pipeline to further enhance our garden. Amongst these are a wishing well and a fairy door!   We are also taking an allotment in Fassaroe in which 5th class will be sowing a variety of vegetables.

 

 

 

 

22 Jan

Today 6th class welcomed Mr Gavin Duffy to St. Peters for Dragons Den.  He was joined on the panel by Ms Whyte, Mr Foley, Mr Kinsella and Paddy.  Each group battled their nerves to put on an amazing array of presentations where their products for Junior Entrepreneur were scrutinized by the judges.

     

The groups presented:

  1.  A clever sun hat with added technology
  2. Slime
  3. A phone holder
  4. A torch
  5. Stress balls
  6. Grassy heads
  7. A music speaker with crafts
  8. Handy holders

        

All groups received incredible feedback from the Dragons, who couldn’t decide between two products in the end. Well done to everyone involved! Now to get working on ur products which will go on sale at our showcase in March.  These include grassy heads and stress relieving toys.

20 Jan

Hi everyone!

Happy New Year! We hope you are all well and ready to have a super 2018.

Here is what we have been getting up to.

Did you see our lovely art work recently?

We are enjoying our brain breaks on Go Noodle!

We started a new book.

The Guided Reading workshops are great fun.

We’ve starting boxing classes with Jaiden’s Dad!

We are still coding, and working on STEM projects.

We got a tweet from Lego to encourage us further!

STEM4FUN has started!

We had a fantastic music workshop.

We are trying very hard to improve our attendance all the time.

The meditation exercises that we are doing are really helping us in class.

Our writing workshops are going from strength to strength.

Our Drama work is so enjoyable!

Some lucky students got to cook with Ms. Fitzpatrick!

We have been working on our oral language!

The four students in our class who won the Dragons’ Den competition got to visit Salesforce!

We have been having excellent conversations based on the news, and what we have seen on News2Day!

The fun continued with our Advent Calendar!

We had the BEST time practicing for our play, The Three Pigs.

We had a VIP come to visit us!

We also got to enjoy performances from the other classes!

We enjoyed lots of PE.

We hope you enjoyed our monthly catch-up!

18 Jan

We are loving taking part in the Junior Entrepreneur Programme.  Today we were visited by entrepreneur and businessman Brian McGovern.  We were extremely inspired by his business journey which he started when he was in 6th class.

We are now super motivated and we feel confident and ready to take on the dragons in Dragons Den on Monday.

 

12 Jan

Can we design a rollercoaster which reaches an elevation above it’s starting point (without using a motor)?  This is the question 6th class worked tirelessly to answer over the past number of weeks.  Today, a group from the class were in the RDS to present their work to the judges and a sold out audience of curious parents, teachers and children.  Here are some pictures of our project and the work we did so brilliantly today.

We attracted the interest of RTE news 🙂 and we even made it on to the telly. Follow this link below and we will make our appearance at 0:51 on News Today!  Well done to Kelsey for speaking about our project!! https://www.rte.ie/player/ie/show/news2day-30001385/10826373/

 

Dylan giving his all when the pressure was on!

 

The boys receiving some excellent feedback from the judges.

 

So here is our project in a bit more detail!  We followed the scientific method when doing this project.

We began by researching information about rollercoasters.  As a class we came up with some questions of our own about rollercoasters and how they worked.  Then we worked in pairs to research two questions each before feeding our information back to the whole class.

Having done some research, we formed hypotheses of what we thought would happen.

We then designed a fair test to decide which material would work best for our track.  Here are our results!

We then set about making rollercoasters in three teams.  Each team worked with a different material.  We used the three most promising materials which did best in our fair test.  These included pipe insulator, 5mm diameter plastic hose and 10mm diameter plastic hose.  Before building we measured and marked our materials at 20cm intervals.  This would help us with graphing our results later on.  When we had built our tracks, using trial and error, we recorded the heights at 20cm intervals and plotted line graphs to show this information.  Here are our graphs!

 

Here is our comparison between our rollercoasters using different materials.

 

We chose the best material from our trials and used our knowledge from our previous designs to work as a class to make the best rollercoaster possible. We used the 5mm diameter pipe insulator.  We needed to add energy to our ball bearing.  We experimented with different methods, including using a bicycle pump, blowing, a balloon and a pinball launcher.  We decided the best way was using the air from our lungs by blowing was the best as our lungs could hold more air than the capacity of the balloon and the pump.  We took precautions with health and safety in using individual straws for each person who blows into the rollercoaster.  Also we made sure the straws had a small enough diameter that the ball bearing could not be swallowed back as it would not get through the straw.  The highest point in our finished rollercoaster is 67 cms with the lowest point being 7cm, leaving a difference of 60cm.

Here are the conclusions we drew from our work…

10 Dec

Well, it has been a very busy few weeks in Mrs. Reilly’s 4th Class room! Here is some of our news.

As always, our class spirit is so important. We work on our behaviour and team work skills always! We had some visitors to help us!

We’re really enjoying our calming, perseverance and mindfulness lessons.

We continue to try new and exciting ICT tools.

We got into the festive spirit and decorated our corridor!

We’re busy preparing for our Christmas performances! We will be doing a class performance and the usual exciting Roald Dahl Revolting Rhymes play with 3rd, 5th and 6th Class!

We’re really enjoying improving our engineering and design skills with our lego work.

We have an exciting Advent Calendar in our class!

We’ve been working on our fitness too! We had a great day in Avondale for Cross Country.

We have finished our latest Reading workshop read, Matilda. We absolutely loved it. We also completed it as part of our FAB (Film and Book) Club activities.

We’ve been making our Christmas book list!

We had a fabulous trip to the Mermaid Arts Centre!

Meanwhile, Santa is keeping an eye on us!

We celebrated Green Day with a visit to the Recycling Centre!

We hope you enjoy our performances! A busy few weeks ahead, and we can’t wait!