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Forces and Light Enquiry School Project How can we improve our science/technology teaching to make it more child-centred, ...
Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch
Initial preparation Make a large lighthouse
Magnets <ul><li>Find the strongest magnet: </li></ul><ul><li>Weigh what they can lift (meccano) </li></ul><ul><li>Use scal...
Magnets - notes <ul><li>What went well? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Concept of strength (not size) of magnet </li></ul></ul><ul>...
Finding magnets Reed switch circuit Ready to assemble Assembled and tested Make a boat Fit the circuit Find “underwater” m...
Finding magnets - notes <ul><li>What went well? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Idea of reed switches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rea...
Springs Build Mr Grinling’s Springy Safety System Any design you like Each team shows and tests Not all successful
Springs - notes <ul><li>What went well? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Very open ended task </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lots of thin...
Pulleys (Knex) Build a pulley system to get Mr Grinling’s lunch across the gap between 2 tables (teams of 5)
Pulleys - notes <ul><li>What went well? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Knex experts helped the novices well </li></ul></ul><ul><ul>...
Lighthouse making Give teams of 2-3 the parts to make a “Pringles tube” lighthouse with a switch.  Let them choose coloure...
Lighthouse making - notes <ul><li>What went well? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pre-prepared kit of parts, drilled Pringles tubes ...
Prisms and reflections Line a tube with black paper and cut slits in some card. Make a lightbox by shining a torch through...
Prisms & reflections - notes <ul><li>What went well? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some groups did very well, good drawings </li><...
Water rockets 2 x 2l carbonated drink bottles Cereal card for fins A4 thin card and clay for nose
Water rockets - notes <ul><li>What went well? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Very exciting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teaches that ...
Telescopes Use kits to test objective lens onto a paper screen held over end. Then add eyepiece for real thing. Look at ne...
Telescopes - notes <ul><li>What went well? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Telescopes work pretty well </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Us...
Overall thoughts … <ul><li>Children loved it </li></ul><ul><li>Some learning is very high level </li></ul><ul><li>Interest...
Pupils “What is a scientist” <ul><li>Clever </li></ul><ul><li>Invents things </li></ul><ul><li>Creative </li></ul><ul><li>...
“ What I think of science now” <ul><li>You need skill </li></ul><ul><li>Fantastic </li></ul><ul><li>Wonderful </li></ul><u...
Pupil Feedback <ul><li>Most popular and why </li></ul><ul><li>Water rockets (exciting, team names, outside) </li></ul><ul>...
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Creative Science - Magnets, Springs, Pulleys, Light, Rockets

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Creative Science - Magnets, Springs, Pulleys, Light, Rockets

  1. 1. Forces and Light Enquiry School Project How can we improve our science/technology teaching to make it more child-centred, creative, imaginative and less teacher directed Brian Egles March 2011 [email_address] 07785 527324
  2. 2. Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch
  3. 3. Initial preparation Make a large lighthouse
  4. 4. Magnets <ul><li>Find the strongest magnet: </li></ul><ul><li>Weigh what they can lift (meccano) </li></ul><ul><li>Use scales and 10g – 1kg weights </li></ul><ul><li>Make electromagnets (in 3s): </li></ul><ul><li>What makes them stronger? </li></ul><ul><li>Compare the ones they made </li></ul>
  5. 5. Magnets - notes <ul><li>What went well? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Concept of strength (not size) of magnet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Electromagnet building in 3s </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scales with weights in 10g increments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interest levels high </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What needed changing? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not enough scales to start with (need 1 per table) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ferrite magnets are strongest but brittle </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Need more metal to lift as team sharing hard </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Finding magnets Reed switch circuit Ready to assemble Assembled and tested Make a boat Fit the circuit Find “underwater” magnets And plot them on a chart
  7. 7. Finding magnets - notes <ul><li>What went well? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Idea of reed switches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ready-to-assemble circuits with connectors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hiding magnets and Jenga to avoid feeling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A chart is not a picture </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What needed changing? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Separate group finding magnets worked best </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Others then needed occupying </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bulbs blowing (~30% but old) </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Springs Build Mr Grinling’s Springy Safety System Any design you like Each team shows and tests Not all successful
  9. 9. Springs - notes <ul><li>What went well? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Very open ended task </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lots of things are springy (cut bottles, flat) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Huge enthusiasm for the real egg drop test </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Great “2 stars and a wish” feedback in groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Good range of results (broken, cracked, intact) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What needed changing? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One group needed 20 minutes “sharing help” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More larger springs would be good </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be very clear what is not allowed (cotton wool?) </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Pulleys (Knex) Build a pulley system to get Mr Grinling’s lunch across the gap between 2 tables (teams of 5)
  11. 11. Pulleys - notes <ul><li>What went well? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Knex experts helped the novices well </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Perseverance when not as easy as it seemed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enough to do (pulleys, baskets, structures) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pre-prepared “fair bags” of Knex </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use Jenga blocks as the sandwiches </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What needed changing? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hoped to use big lighthouse but tables safer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teams wanted to steal larger pieces from others </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Lighthouse making Give teams of 2-3 the parts to make a “Pringles tube” lighthouse with a switch. Let them choose coloured acetate to make theirs different in the dark Can you identify yours?
  13. 13. Lighthouse making - notes <ul><li>What went well? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pre-prepared kit of parts, drilled Pringles tubes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Good “why is mine not working” problem solving </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sense of achievement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The “find my lighthouse” game they(?) invented </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What needed changing? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Several found wiring fiddly and needed adult help </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Would making the circuit “flat” first help? </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Prisms and reflections Line a tube with black paper and cut slits in some card. Make a lightbox by shining a torch through the slits. Draw the light rays as they reflect off mirrors and refract through various prisms/lenses
  15. 15. Prisms & reflections - notes <ul><li>What went well? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Some groups did very well, good drawings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Good introduction to reflection/refraction </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What needed changing? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Too much messing about with lenses/prisms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some groups drew very little </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More prisms would be good but are expensive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Round lenses/mirrors unsuitable – need flat base </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hard to get room dark enough </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Probably better as a small group activity </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Water rockets 2 x 2l carbonated drink bottles Cereal card for fins A4 thin card and clay for nose
  17. 17. Water rockets - notes <ul><li>What went well? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Very exciting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teaches that careful build = good result </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What needed changing? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Should stress importance of even spacing on fins </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Not really practical to run without Satro support </li></ul>
  18. 18. Telescopes Use kits to test objective lens onto a paper screen held over end. Then add eyepiece for real thing. Look at near + far for focus and read upside down
  19. 19. Telescopes - notes <ul><li>What went well? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Telescopes work pretty well </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use of transparent screen first is good </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What needed changing? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Only a short activity (1 hour), do not spin it out </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hard to hold steady to read, put elbows on desk </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Overall thoughts … <ul><li>Children loved it </li></ul><ul><li>Some learning is very high level </li></ul><ul><li>Interested to know the effect it has afterwards </li></ul><ul><li>Theme is good but requires “forced fit” </li></ul><ul><li>Creative partnerships process is rather drawn out and “project timescale” feels constraining </li></ul><ul><li>Teamworking skills are growing </li></ul>
  21. 21. Pupils “What is a scientist” <ul><li>Clever </li></ul><ul><li>Invents things </li></ul><ul><li>Creative </li></ul><ul><li>Fun </li></ul><ul><li>Experiments </li></ul><ul><li>New thing every day </li></ul><ul><li>Things happen </li></ul><ul><li>Funny </li></ul><ul><li>Silly </li></ul><ul><li>Makes potions </li></ul><ul><li>Happy </li></ul><ul><li>Serious </li></ul><ul><li>Discovers things </li></ul><ul><li>Strange </li></ul><ul><li>Bonkers </li></ul><ul><li>Crazy </li></ul><ul><li>Expert </li></ul><ul><li>Thinks of loads of things </li></ul><ul><li>Kind </li></ul><ul><li>Helps people </li></ul><ul><li>Brave </li></ul><ul><li>Cheerful </li></ul><ul><li>Excellent </li></ul><ul><li>Weird </li></ul>
  22. 22. “ What I think of science now” <ul><li>You need skill </li></ul><ul><li>Fantastic </li></ul><ul><li>Wonderful </li></ul><ul><li>Super </li></ul><ul><li>Wow </li></ul><ul><li>Wikid </li></ul><ul><li>Despicably awesome </li></ul><ul><li>Unbelievable </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t have to write about it </li></ul><ul><li>Interesting </li></ul><ul><li>Learning </li></ul><ul><li>Cool </li></ul><ul><li>Utterly awesome </li></ul><ul><li>Beautiful </li></ul><ul><li>Exciting </li></ul><ul><li>Fun </li></ul><ul><li>Terrific </li></ul><ul><li>Brilliant </li></ul><ul><li>Fabulous </li></ul><ul><li>Inventive </li></ul><ul><li>I like to learn whilst making </li></ul><ul><li>One of my favourite things </li></ul><ul><li>Tempting to do it again </li></ul>
  23. 23. Pupil Feedback <ul><li>Most popular and why </li></ul><ul><li>Water rockets (exciting, team names, outside) </li></ul><ul><li>Small lighthouse making </li></ul><ul><li>Least popular and why </li></ul><ul><li>Knex pulleys (team disagreements) </li></ul><ul><li>Telescopes (not enough to do) </li></ul><ul><li>Magnets (not exciting enough) </li></ul><ul><li>Preference for smaller groups (2s, 3s). </li></ul><ul><li>Like to decorate everything (especially the girls) </li></ul>

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