To begin our Building Bridges Science topic, we grouped into pairs and completed some independent research on the four main types of bridges, the beam, truss, arch and suspension/cable-stayed. We used a variety of websites to gather the most useful information. Some of us conducted further research and found out about a few other bridges. After we had finished the required research we presented it either in our books or to the class. We all had lots of fun.
After learning about bridges in theory, in groups of three and four, we had to apply our knowledge by constructing a bridge made from paddlepop sticks. We were restricted to only using 200 paddle pop sticks, 1 metre of string, 8 bulldog clips and 1 bottle of PVA wood glue. We struggled to keep to these regulations, especially because the bridges were going to be tested to see what weight they would hold.
For a start, we planned the design of our bridge before constructing the base, which had to be stable and secure. While that was drying, the groups constructed the aesthetic part of the bridge. For most of us, this meant building a truss. After the separate parts had dried, we assembled them and then waited until the final product was secure.
When everyone had finished constructing their bridges, we put the bridge in between 2 tables and put a dictionary on top to see whether it would collapse or hold. As we let go of the dictionary anxiety rushed through us. In the end every bridge was stable enough to hold a dictionary for at least a minute. Some were so strong they could have held more for longer.
All this was done over a period of three days, and we all went home with assembled wooden bridges and a positive state of mind. In conclusion, our ‘Building Bridges’ Science topic was both interesting and enjoyable to everyone who took part.
Four girls from Year four were chosen to research a Problem Based Learning topic with Mrs Watson, titled ‘Live Long and Prosper’. This topic was based on aging. We researched what the differences are in terms of health between young and old people. We explored issues which could impact our health in the future.
The afternoon of the sixth of November we had a wonderful incursion to expand our knowledge. The afternoon was not only an educational one but an enjoyable one as well. We had the opportunity to be Doctors for a day, and received a visit from Dr Falconer, a medical professional. We asked valuable questions and were able to confirm some hypotheses made in our studies. We were able to ask Julianne many questions about different subjects including obesity, heart disease, arthritis and cancer, which were the four areas that most interested us.
The four wonder doctors came up with multiple questions to ask Dr Julianne Falconer. We found it very helpful that she could explain in depth what we were curious about. The answers to our questions helped us deeply in our assignment of living longer and prospering. Dr Falconer was very knowledgeable and a good source of information. We learnt many things from her explanations.
Also (equipped in hospital scrubs), we took part in a valuable role play, containing two roles; the patient and the doctor. For this activity, we had to draw on our knowledge of health in general. We thought of questions that professional doctors would ask their patients. The ‘patients’ were 50 year old women with bad chest pains. Appropriate questions were key to finding out what the problem was. This was one of the many enjoyable and informative times we spent with Dr Falconer.
The incursion was fun, educational and an interesting way to learn more about our topic.
On a beautiful day, years four to six went to Manly beach for surf education. We had some challenges, like diving down to the bottom of the beach and bringing sand to the top, floating and treading water. After that we did some laps and relays. When we were at Manly we jumped straight back into the water and did some running in water with waves breaking everywhere! We learned to use a surfboard and go body surfing. The surf education was extremely fun. We overcame our fears of seaweed, sharks, drowning and freezing cold water. All of us had personal challenges to face. Some faced getting back in the water, others were trying to stay on their surfboard. In the end we did it! It was fun and challenging.
Georgina and Estelle
On a humid, spring day the two Year 4 classes walked to Psycho Chicken. The reason we went to Psycho Chicken is that in HSIE we are designing a restaurant and we thought that it would be good inspiration for us. We looked at the prices of the food, so we did have some reasonable prices. They had said that they separated the cold things from the hot things. There was a room that was under 0 degrees! On that day it was the most amazing thing ever because it was a very humid day.
After that, the owner who was taking us around asked if there were any questions. We had some girls who were selected to ask their questions. We had questions such as ‘What criteria do you need when you are choosing a place to put your restaurant?’
Following the questions it was time to walk back to school. We were all so hot and tired after a big day of learning.
Gabriella and Fenna