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Being Scientists!

17 Mar 2022

In Class 4, we have recently started working on our new unit of Science, which is materials. 

We began with some feely bags full of materials - we had to have a feel and then guess what it could be. When we found out what was inside, we focused on ways to describe them and realised we were discussing the materials' properties. We discussed properties such as: magnetic, absorbant, permeable, flammable, insulating and others. We decided to test the magnetism, transparency, flexibility and hardness of a range of materials such as tiles, tissue paper and wooden wheels. We discovered that a test for hardness is how easy or difficult it is to scratch something. The children enjoyed testing this! 

Moving on, we looked at thermal conductors and insulators. Firstly, we discovered what they were; we looked at examples such as pans that include both thermal conducting and insulating materials. We completed an investigation where we searched for the best material to act as a thermal insulator for the inner lining of a lunch box. The children worked in groups to test a variety of materials that they chose. They had to decide how they were going to measure the effectiveness of the material. Some groups measured the size of the ice cubes at different time intervals and others used a thermometer to measure the change in temperature over time. The group below found that tinfoil was the worst insulator whereas the cloth was the best. Each group discussed what went well with their investigation and what didn't go as well. 


This week, we have been looking at electrical conductors and insulators. We investigated what each of these were and discovered that within a group of conductors, some will conduct electricity easier than others, due to their electrical resistance. We had a question to answer which relied on finding the best conductor of electricity from day to day objects. 

The children worked in small groups for this investigation. They chose a set of materials to test and then put together an electric circuit. They added in different materials to see the impact they had on the brightness of the bulb. The children recorded their results in tables that they designed using scales or methods that they decided upon. 

Once they had completed their investigations, the children drew conclusions from their data. They found out which material from the ones they tested allowed electricity to travel through them the easiest and so lit the bulb up the most. 

The children have really enjoyed these investigations so far, and it's been great to see how their scientific thinking is developing lesson by lesson. 

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