This term we are running CREST club on a Thursday lunchtime for Year 2 pupils. We will be following the CREST Star Award Scheme, which introduces children to science using fun, hands-on activities and investigations. At the end of the 10 weeks, children receive a CREST Star certificate and badge.
For our first week we made our own timers by pouring salt into paper cups with holes in. We looked at three variables - the amount of salt in the cup, the size of the hole and the number of holes. Each group had to make a timer that would last for exactly 1 minute.
For week two we looked at sound. To begin with, we talked about how sound travels in waves through the air and objects, and we watched sprinkles jump on a tight layer of cling-film as it vibrated due to a nearby loud noise.
In our groups we then investigated how the amount of water in a glass affects the noise that is made when the glass is tapped. Each group then went on to create and perform their own piece of music using glasses filled with varying amounts of water.
Finally, we looked at how sound travels through objects as we took it in turn to whisper to each other from one end of the room to the other using a string telephone.
For week three we looked at minibeasts and their habitats. We started with a bug hunt around the school grounds, looking for any small creatures and noting the habitats that we found them in. Some of the children collected minibeasts in their viewing jars and brought them back to the classroom to draw.
After we had made a note of what we found and where we found it, we made our own bug houses using recycled bottles, dried leaves, sticks, bamboo, pinecones, rocks, corrugated cardboard and old bits of carpet.
For week four we looked at heat transfer and experimented with different materials to see which make the best insulators. Each group was given a selection of materials to use to keep a jacket potato as hot as possible over the lunch break. A probe thermometer was used to take the temperature of each potato at the beginning and end of lunch break.
Once we had wrapped up our potatoes we discussed how air is a good insulator and so materials that trap air, such as bubble wrap or wool, are the best for keeping objects warm (or we can trap air between layers of materials).
We then did an experiment to see how animals in cold climates keep warm by having layers of fat around their bodies. For this experiment we had a bowl of cold water with ice cubes and we made a 'glove' with two food bags that had vegetable oil between them. The pupils took it in turns to put one hand in the cold water, and to put the other hand in the glove and then into the cold water. The pupils noticed that the hand in the glove of oil did not feel the coldness of the water.
For week five we were investigating shadows. Each group started off with a sheet of A3 paper, a torch and some building cubes. They built a small shape and had to see what happened to the shadow as they moved the torch all around the shape. Their aim was to work out what a shadow is, what is needed to make a shadow and how to make the shadow larger/smaller, longer/shorter and dark/lighter.
After this we made shadows using a selection of objects to see how the transparency of an object affects the shadow.
We then finished our session by making shoe box shadow theatres and used a range of craft supplies to make shadow puppets.
For week six we looked at structures using paper straws. To begin with we looked at some pre-made 2D and 3D shapes to see which held their shape best when we pushed and pulled them. We talked about how tall towers need a good base and strong structure for them to stay upright and not fall down.
Each group was then given paper straws, masking tape and a cardboard base and had to build a tower as tall as they could.
For week seven we looked at buoyancy and what makes objects float. Each group was given a selection of materials and had to make a small boat that would float. We tested each boat to see how many pennies it could hold before it sank.
On a Thursday lunchtime, KS1 and KS2 pupils meet to explore real world problems. Once the pupils have solved eight problems, they can receive a certificate from CREST awards.
"This week we followed up our learning from last week. We wanted to test different brands of toothpaste to see which got rid of dirt quickest, which had the best taste, which smelt the best and which was most attractive in colour.
We found out that Aquafresh was the best for taste, smell and getting rid of dirt the quickest. However, it wasn't the best in the colour category. People we asked, prefered the colour of Oral B because they liked the bright blue gel. People thought all of the toothpastes had a very strong taste.
All three of the toothpastes we tested today had sodium fluoride in them." Hamza