Our Year 4 Classes are Whales and Dolphins.
Our Year 4 Classes are Whales and Dolphins.
Year 4 had an incredible time at the recently opened, £2.5 million STEM centre in Ashington. We took part in four exciting activities that encouraged problem solving, creative thinking and developed our understanding of STEM as a whole.
One of the STEM tasks we took part in was linked to forensics. We found out that forensic facts are anything that can be used by a judge to determine whether someone is guilty or not of having committed a crime. One particular aspect of forensics that we studied today was our finger prints. Every person’s finger print is completely unique to them (unless you have an identical twin) and each one of your ten fingers has its own individual print. We used magnetic ink to scan for a finger print, which was fascinating, and then used a plastic sheet to take a copy of it. Using finger print inks, we then took a sample of our classmates’ finger prints and compared it to the print that was taken. There are definitely some future forensic scientists and detectives in our year group!
Another exciting opportunity we had, was to learn about Chromatography in relation to Skittles sweets. We placed a combination of skittle sweets around the edge of a Petri dish and then added water. As the out layer of each sweet dissolved into the water, the effect this was made was amazing. After we learned what was happening scientifically during this process, we were treated to something really special. We saw a chemical reaction between two different materials occur that was truly explosive!
We were introduced to some innovative new technologies while spending time with Gordon in his lab. He is working with 3D printers, Computer Assisted Design machines and a device that is able to cut and carve any design that is inputted into a computer. When we were given a chance to ask questions, Gordon was really impressed with what we had to say. One of us asked if it would be possible to 3D print food, thinking that it was a strange thing to ask, however Gordon told us that it was completely possible and that he thinks that in 20 years time we will see vending machines that will do this! Gordon clearly explained to us how being an engineer was all about coming up with solutions to problems and he shard a prosthetic hand that he and his team had made, for the tiny cost of £5, that will be used to make the lives of children in Africa with missing limbs better. To know that we will be able to work with these technologies in the future if we want to at places like Northumberland College was really exciting to us.
One of the things that we all loved taking part in was our ‘Engineering in a Box’ challenge. We were split into four teams, given a load of different resources and eight challenges that we had to complete within 20 minutes. All of the members of staff we really impressed by how we were able to quickly organise ourselves, share the workload and come up with interesting ways to solve the problems we had. We know that to be an engineer you must be able to come up with more than one way to look at the problem put in front of us and it was great to find out that for each challenge, every team had come up with a different way to solve it.
We were very lucky to have Adam and Matthew come in to visit us this morning from Cricket Allstars. We enjoyed our cricket taster session and, now that we have a feel for fielding and batting, are keen to take part in future opportunities offered by the team. Please read all of the information given out today on the flier, there will be a chance to work with Adam and the team this summer with a great starter kit when your child signs up.
As part of school’s STEM initiative, working alongside the businesses at the Port of Blyth, Year 4 were given the opportunity to take part in a day’s worth of activities designed to inspire and engage the children in engineering.
Tom Chaplin, PR & Communications manager for the Port, took us on a tour of some of different areas of the Port. While we explored the site, he explained to us how the use of the port has changed over the years.
As well as this, Captain Billy Miller took us to see the Williams II ship that has been built in the Blyth Tall Ship workshop and will recreate the journey that William Smith went on in 1819 when he discovered the South Shetlands (and Antarctica the following year). We also got to see the workshop itself and did an activity linked to counterbalancing of a ship.
During our lunch our, some of us were lucky enough to be able to visit the Northumberland College blade repair factory. Here, students get a chance to learn how wind turbine blades, and other parts of a turbine, can be fixed if they have an issue as well as how they work. Mr Palmer showed us a ‘small turbine blade’ which was over 22 metres long, the inside of a nacelle and find out how the gears of a turbine work.
Mr Young from TDR talked through the history of engineering with us, highlighting some of the most important figures throughout history. It was wonderful to see how much some of the children already knew about these iconic engineers.
One of the activities we loved the most was our time in the Catapult building. We were tasked with creating our own wind turbine blade designs and then testing their effectiveness using a voltmeter. After each design, we assessed how well we had done and made changes in an effort to improve the efficiency of our blades. The staff at Catapult then shared some of the exciting things that they are doing in our home town, including currently housing the world’s largest turbine blade.
Our trip to the Port of Blyth really opened our eyes as to what actually goes on there and gae us an idea about some of the careers that are available to us in our home town. We are all looking forward to working together with Mr Rutland and everyone else at the port in the Future.
The staff in Year 4 were hugely impressed with the effort and creativity the children have shown when making their homework projects. From Viking longboats, to maps, to powerpoint presentations and word searches, the children have presented information in a variety of interesting and exciting ways and they all should be incredibly proud of what they have achieved. We would like the take the chance to thank all of our parents for the time and effort taken to work alongside your children to help to bring our Viking projects to life!
This week, we were given our log in details for an exciting new challenge that we can complete at home: Times Tables Rockstars.
On the website, we get to create our own Rockstar avatar before being allowed to customise how they look. Through completing times table challenges, we can earn coins to be able to cool items for our characters. The more challenges we complete, the more ‘Festivals’ we unlock and stages we have the chances to perform on. Times Tables Rockstars can be downloaded to phones and tablets for free on Android and Apple devices. Let’s see how many coins we can earn over the half term!
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