STEM Summit 21st November 2022

On Monday I took six pupils to the STEM Summit at Hilderthorpe Primary School at Bridlington.alongside Mrs Carey our science governor and Mrs Smith one of our parents. As the workshop related to the year four units ‘Living Things and their Habitats’, we took four pupils from year four and also three of our year 5/6 pupils who have been attending the STEM after-school club.

There were six schools present at the summit and all of the pupils took part in a range of activities and listened to speakers who hold different roles in looking after our environment. First of all, the children listened to an informative talk by JP Developers. Russell Page talked about their efforts to be work in a sustainable and eco-friendly way when building new housing developments. The children were really surprised to learn that when they install a new fence, it has a hedgehog hole at the bottom to allow safe transit to all hedgehogs and other small creatures passing through. The children then designed a bug hotel using some of the materials that Russell told us they often had left over in their builder’s yard. Following that, he made an incredibly generous offer to supply and deliver the materials that each school had included in their design. Brandesburton Primary will benefit from this offer and we look forward to arranging delivery of our bug hotel materials in the near future.

Next, a waste officer from East Riding of Yorkshire Council talked to the pupils about reduce, reuse, recycle and the negative effects of landfill and green houses gases. The children listened intently and then completed a worksheet which demonstrated their understanding of the problems facing the environment.

Finally, Duncan, a representative from Vaisala, a weather measurement company, talked to the pupils about climate change and all of the pupils look part in an interactive quiz.

At the end of the summit all of the pupils voted on some environmental initiatives to take back to school and develop. The two most popular ideas were to apply for frees trees to plant through the National Trust and to appoint some waste warriors to work on further reducing waste in school. Our pupils were fantastic ambassadors for our school and were very enthusiastic about their experience. They are very keen to get going on the initiatives back in school and our order for our free trees will be going in very soon!

Scientists and Inventors

This week our STEM Club pupils had two activities. One was to refine and improve the air balloon powered cars they made last week. There challenge was to modify the design and try using different size wheels, a different length wheelbase or more than one balloon to see how this affects performance. The pupils will test out their cars next week.

Their other activity was to work on a jigsaw that was all about different scientists and inventors. As they found out, making a jigsaw can be quite addictive, so much so that the jigsaw was completed by the end of the session!

Watch out next week for exciting news from a STEM Summit workshop morning six pupils from Brandesburton Primary are attending!

Is it all hot air?

This week our STEM Club members tackled another engineering task using resources from The pupils used kits to assemble some balloon powered cars which they then had great fun whizzing across the hall floor to see which would travel the fastest and the furthest. It was quite interesting to observe that the most inflated balloon didn’t always produce the best result, more important was the seal around the balloon on the air pipe. Next week the pupils are going to work on modifying their vehicle and trying different size wheels.

Up, up and away!

This week saw the after-school STEM Club tackle an engineering challenge using resources provided by which is the Royal Academy of Engineering. The pupils needed to make a glider and then test its ability to fly by altering the wings to anhydral (pointing at a downward angle) and dihydral (pointing at an upward angle) wing positions and the flaps. They then experimented with adding blu-tak and paperclips to the fuselage to see how this affected flight. Great fun was had assembling the gliders and adding their own personal touches before we moved to the hall to carry out the investigations.

Designing Rube Goldberg Machines

This week we have had more of an engineering focus rather than science. We investigated the chain reaction technique of a Rube Goldberg machine. Having watched a few example videos on YouTube, the pupils were inspired to create their own simpler versions using a range of ‘blue bin’ recycling items that we had put a plea out for to the school community. The club split into two teams, each working towards the end goal of transporting a ball away from its starting point. Both teams worked co-operatively and collaboratively to design their machine and they only had string and masking tape in addition to the recycling materials – although they also chose to incorporate some PE equipment for extra height. They also had to refine and improve their ideas when things didn’t go quite to plan, all in the space of about 45 minutes! As always, our science governor was there to prompt, guide and enthuse and this week we had a special guest – her eldest son, an ex-pupil of ours , came to support too. Both teams came up with their own innovative designs, with team A designing an original ball drop starting mechanism and team B creating an end point for their ball run that knocked over a small tower. Everyone participated well and enthusiastically watched each other’s final ball runs. Stickers were awarded to all with Team B just having the edge overall with their design. Well done everybody!

Bubbles bubbles everywhere…

Today we took our STEM club outdoors to investigate bubbles and answer the question ‘what bubble mixture produces the longest lasting bubbles?’ First of all we tested out different ratios of water/fairy liquid mixture to see what sort of bubbles were produced. We tried ratios of 10 parts water to 1 part Fairy Liquid and then 6 parts water to 1 part Fairy Liquid. The pupils also had the opportunity to use a range of resources to make their own bubble wands, these included metal and wooden curtain rings, pipe cleaners, wire, straws and string. The pupils worked in two groups and used the results of this investigation to decide what ratio of bubble mixture they wanted to mix for themselves. They also got to add a ‘secret ingredient’ and test whether the bubble were longer lasting with or without this added ingredient. Both groups agreed that it didn’t make the bubbles last longer and that they wanted to add it into their own mixtures. The added ingredient was glycerin.

After the pupils had made, tested and fed back on their own bubble mixtures, they had the opportunity to try and produce some larger bubbles using hula hoops with a Tuff Tray and also wooden sticks fitted with string that could be pulled into a triangular shape.

We were lucky to enjoy the early evening Autumn sunshine in order to carry out our activities and all of the pupils thoroughly enjoyed our STEM Club session.

After-school STEM Club has started!

This week saw the first session of our much awaited STEM Club. This term we are running it for our year 5/6 pupils although this will rotate through the school year groups over the course of the year.

Our first enquiry was from the IndusTRY AT HOME resources from CIEC (centre for industry education collaboration). It posed the question ’what is the best method for making foam’ set against a scenario of a bubble bath manufacturer wanting to produce the most foam for the least amount of money.

The pupils happily got into whisking, blowing, stirring and shaking the bubble bath and water mixture. At the same time they applied their maths skills to measure the amount of bubble bath and water needed in the correct ratio. They also had to make it a fair test and decide how they would measure the amount of foam produced. There was lots of scientific reasoning and vocabulary used amongst excited chatter at the same time. The pupils also compare the type of foam produced by the different methods used and were surprised that some methods produced quite a dense foam whilst others produced quite a light, airy foam with lots of bubbles.

The pupils also enjoyed popping back the next morning to see what had happened to the foam overnight. Everyone worked really collaboratively and there was lots of valuable discussion. Let’s hope they all find next week’s session just as engaging.

Royal Society Judging Panel

We are really excited to announce that once again Brandesburton Primary School has been selected as one of the schools forming the judging panel for the short listed books for the Young People’s Book Prize 2022. This is organised by the Royal Society. Our copies of the books just arrived last Thursday. Each class will have some time over the next few weeks to look through them, listen to them being read, share them with their peers and then decide on their class favourite. We will then vote on our overall choice for our preferred book and we will submit that to the Royal Society early next year.

For more information click here

Welcome to our new science blog

On our science blog we are hoping to keep you updated with lots of exciting things that our children will be learning in science. Amongst the developments for this term is the completion of our work towards Science Capital certification. Science capital in our school aims to ensure that all of our children are included and offered the same opportunities regardless of background or ability. Children often have a misconception that you have to be ‘clever’ to do science and we want to show that all of our pupils have access to an exciting and engaging curriculum. Our science curriculum aims to motivate, inspire and meets the needs of all pupils. We aim to help them understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future and provide our learners with the foundations for understanding the world.

In addition to carefully planned lessons and lots of hands on learning, we strive to provide enrichment opportunities for our pupils. As school trips have been somewhat limited over the last couple of years (although we very much hope to get back to these), we have provided a number of visits into school, either delivered in person or via Microsoft Teams or Zoom. Last year this saw KS2 engage with Smartstems in Glasgow for a practical workshop, class 5 engage with industry as part of the Children Challenging Industry Project, several classes participating in the activities provided by Bonanza Creatives on Carbon Monoxide and a very popular KS1 visit from the Dog’s Trust.

This week pupils have been completing a ‘science and me’ sheet as part of their work on transition into new classes. This was offered to us by the Centre for Industry, Education, Collaboration (CIEC) who completed staff development training as part of our Science Capital work. This sheet will help teachers to understand what science capital the children already hold so that we can build on this and incorporate their interests. It appears that that we have a wealth of family members who are actively engaged in STEM related industries, STEM careers or personal pursuits relating to STEM! This is amazing and we would love to hear from you if you would like to help us with our enrichment and careers program. You could lead a short assembly or work with different classes in the classroom for example. Please contact the school office if you are available to help at any point as this would be greatly appreciated.

This term, we are hoping to be able to run an after-school STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) club which will be offered to different classes on a rota basis. Look out for more exciting details on this to follow and lots of photos in the upcoming weeks of what we have been up to in classroom!