Today Bob and Chris visited from STEM Learning. STEM are a wide range of volunteers that work in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths. Bob used to work as an electrician and builds lots of fantastic robots (using a 3D printer, raspberry pi’s and coding) and Chris is an Innovation Specialist and was telling us about how how many ground breaking companies he works for that come from Wales! First of all Bob showed us some health and safety guidelines so we could explore the equipment safely. He taught us about bread boards, tiny switches, and how many LED’s and robots we could find in our houses. Then we got to build our own circuits to make working traffic lights – Just like in the real world! Our fingers were the perfect size for the wiring!! Next we had a challenge to try and get all the lights working off one switch so we could make lighting strips like the ones in our classroom. We had to think about it very carefully, then figure out which wires we could and should move. Chris was very helpful at giving us clues to help us if we got stuck.
Bob had recently entered a robot competition in Cambridge with his nephew where they had to make robots using raspberry pi’s to complete different tasks like:
Aiming a golf ball, following a line accurately, following a maze, and popping a balloon.
He brought in the robots and showed us how to do some basic instructions (using coding) and let us play with the different robots, even at play time!
Thank you so much Bob and Chris, we had loads of fun!
This week we’ve been investigating the different habitats around our school. We started by finding out about the different scales of habitats…From under a rotten log and inside walls to a whole mountain or lake! We’ve got tonnes in our school grounds – especially with the new piles of mud (The house martins are LOVING gathering up easy mud for their nests!) We decided to take advantage of having access to our village stream through the bottom field, and decided we wanted to find out if species would be the same in our school pond and the Nant Cwy. Most of us predicted that the animals in the stream would need to be bigger and stronger in order to cope with the flow of the water. First we started by pond dipping then using reference books and scientific keys to identify the vertebrates and invertebrates that we found. We recorded our results on a tally chart.
Whilst some groups were studying and recording the pond life in our wildlife area the others were practicing their close scientific observation and mm measurement skills by drawing the new spring flowers. We needed to carefully observe the exact shape and number of leaves and petals. It was very tricky!
Next stop was down to the Nant Cwy. This stream flows into Llangorse Lake so we were very hopeful to see some tiddlers (Baby fish)…We weren’t disappointed! Miss Jenkins helped us do a minute ‘kick sample’ – timed in seconds – to capture a wide range of different stream species. Our largest amount of animals found this time were mayfly nymphs. Look out for LOTS of mayflies this year! Ailsa, one of our school helpers, very kindly agreed to help us identify our catches.
Back to the classroom now to look at our findings and work out what it all means…
We’re really hoping we get to go to the beach so we can find out about rockpool animals too!
Today Nigel from the rainforest charity ‘Size of Wales’ came to visit. He taught us all about the challenges that face rainforests and the animals that live there. We learnt all about the different ways that we can help through ‘People Power!!’
Nigel gave us a ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire?’ quiz about the rainforest – See if you can guess the answers! The Size of Wales charity has already raised enough money to save an area of rainforest the size of Wales – now they’re trying to save double the size of Wales, and we want to help! We had some workshops about deforestation and climate change. In the deforestation talk we learnt all about what the land is used for once the rainforest is chopped down (Did you know it is chopped down at a rate of one rugby pitch every minute!? At this rate there won’t be ANY rainforest left in only 40 years!) Some of the biggest problems are cattle farming, palm oil production, and soya plantations.
In our climate change workshop we learnt all about how trees use carbon dioxide and create oxygen – we got to pretend to be trees! We did an experiment to see how solid carbon turns into carbon dioxide gas, some of us were really surprised when the balloon blew up with gas! Now we’re very busy thinking of lots of fundraising ideas to help save the rainforest…Watch this space………
Over the last couple of weeks we have been thinking a lot about refugees. A local charity organises away days for refugees to our area. We wanted to help. See the above link for more details of what was a brilliant day!
Year 4 thought carefully about how our visitors might be feeling and how we could make them feel welcome. They were really good at putting themselves in other peoples shoes. Then they used their DT designing, joining and measuring skills to make some Croeso cards with wales themed levers. They looked fantastic and were really appreciated.
Over the course of the winter cross country season our school has been taking part in lots of different cross country races all around the county. We’ve really enjoyed visiting lots of different schools and inspiring other children to take part and get fit! The competitions rounded off with a last open circuit at Gwernyfed High School, run by the schools Sports Ambassadors. Then we were invited to a final race up at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth. The children did incredibly well, and great team spirit shown by all!
Overall school champions dab for victory!
Year 6 Team winners
Special congratulations to Jack Organ who won the Year 6 Boys race and the Year 6 Boys team who won their team race.
Over the last couple of weeks our class has been learning about electricity and how to build simple circuits. Our final circuit building task was to use our knowledge of batteries, joining methods, components, conductors and insulators in developing our own switches using common materials. We were given card, foil, corks, drawing pins, paper clips and electrical tape. We looked at lots of different switches found around our school to start with. Then we applied our new knowledge of twist, press, and pull switches to create our own designs. After an afternoon of creating and problem solving, inventing solutions ‘on the hoof’ we ALL managed to make working switches!