Becoming Scientists

Making and Thinking -  Fun Science in Room 15

What is a scientist to a 5 year old? Room 15 students put on our imaginary scientist coats.   

A person with big ideas, who then tests them out.

Room 15 has been investigating forces, in particular, the students are thinking about the push and pull on objects.

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STEM Activities

Room 15 found a STEM activity to help us think about these forces. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. By integrating aspects from all these disciplines, teachers  provide rich learning experiences for our students.  Room 15 have been making catapults from popsicle sticks.  

The Science Process

  • First the students began with a question.

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  • Then the students made predictions.  It’s tricky at 5 years of age to understand it is ok to have my own ideas and they may be different to my friend.

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  • Now comes the fun part.  Making the catapults!  Those students who understood how to put them together become ‘experts’ to assist those who are struggling.  Sometimes they break and that’s ok.  We learn that if we keep trying,  we will succeed.

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  •  Next the students test out their question by catapulting the pom pom balls and ping pong balls to see which went further.

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  • Room 15 recorded the results to see what happened.  Not all results are the same which leads to good discussions about why.  The force used can be different for example.

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  • The final part of the process is thinking about why.  Trying to understand why the ping pong balls went further than the pom pom balls.  At this age the students are establishing basic science thinking and concepts.

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Summary

Perhaps most importantly is that the students have fun.  Some parts were tricky.  

Molly said, Getting the stack done was hard but Mea helped.

Angus said, Pulling it back was hard because the top kept falling off the stick.

The results were different than expected for many students.  Ella said, “ The ping pong balls were heavier but they went further.  It was surprising.”

As the website Little Bins tells us.

‘Kids are curious and always looking to explore, discover, check out, and experiment to find out why things do what they do, move like they move, or change as they change! Indoors or outdoors, science is definitely amazing!’

Curriculum Areas

  • Science - Investigating in science

  • Science - Material World

  • Science - Physical World

Keywords

  • forces,  push,  pull,  catapult, prediction

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