Sunday, 31 August 2014

Tamaki College goes to the Science Fair

On Friday 29th August I had the privilege of transporting 9KEm to their Science Fair competition at Fickling Convention Centre in Three Kings.

Students had spent weeks planning, preparing, collecting data, analysing, concluding, printing and pasting to get their projects finished in time for the school science fair.

Ms Smallwood held this in S3 last Friday, and students were able to practice their interview skills as some guest judges walked around, asked them about their projects and gave them some feedback. 

All of the projects had such creative names and they were all so different, the guest judges were all very impressed. Some of the projects included finding out which type of bowl degraded the fastest (interestingly, not the one called the 'biodegradable' bowl!), which type of bowl helped whisk egg whites the fastest and the highest, which fertiliser helped plants grow the tallest, which genre of music caused bacteria to grow the most, whether texting affected finger dexterity and which soil is most affected by liquefaction?

However, even after their practice the week before some students were still nervous on the way to meet with the real judges - "excitedly nervous," as one of them put it. Would the real judges ask them even harder questions? Would they like their ideas? 

Watch the video below to find out from students as they return from the judging room:

A big huge thank you to Ms Smallwood from all the Science staff and all the students! Ms Smallwood single-handedly organised the science fair students and projects at Tamaki College. Thanks for all of your hard work and extra after-school efforts! 

Finally, in breaking news, it appears that the dedication of Ms Smallwood and her science stars has paid off! Hopefully the science fair students have been checking their results on this website - but I will leave it to Ms Smallwood to announce on Monday. Congratulations Tamaki winners!

Monday, 25 August 2014

Students Are So GOOD With Technology!

During the Chemical Reactions unit 9PLa demonstrated once again how capable they are with technology. They have used it in many different ways to share their understanding!

This is a Prezi made by Viola

Students in 9PLa also all made their own websites - I am not sure the general public will have permission to see them though.  If you click on the screenshot of the website below, you will hopefully be taken to a students' site and be able to see all their work, explanations, videos and the Do Now's they created for others.

If the picture doesn't link to Gustavo's site, click here
If that doesn't work, then you don't have permission to view it. 

One student in 9RTd even filmed their own video during the unit, edited it and added a great backing track - a rap about safety in science! Thanks Ricky.

As always, follow this link to see the gorgeous work my three Year 9 classes have been creating, and feel free to explore my site :) 

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Making Ice-Cream - Easy!

All three of my Year 9 classes finished their Chemical Reactions unit on Friday, and we decided it was time for a treat for working so hard!

9PLa and 9PTt got to make ice-cream after Latiume sent me this link and requested to make ice-cream, and 9RTd got to launch rockets with Mr Grace in their Friday class!

I was so impressed by how 9PLa and 9PTt worked together to help set up their bags of ice-cream, which you can clearly see in the photos below. The recipe for ice-cream is not difficult, and some of the students even said they would make it at home again!

Everybody helping one another with the measurements - it is difficult to do alone!

Trey helping Lasa measure the vanilla essence.

Everyone doing the measurements.

Once the two bags were all set up students had to keep shaking them to make their ice-cream creamy!

Suzie enjoying her ice-cream in the sun.

Latiume and Tyrone were pretty happy with the outcome of their effort.

Reactants for the small ziplock bag:
1/2 cup blue milk
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

Reactants for the larger ziplock bag:
Three handfuls of ice
1/4 cup rock salt

1.   Place all of the reactants for the small ziplock bag into it.
2.    Make sure the small ziplock bag is COMPLETELY sealed.
3.  Place all of the reactants for the larger ziplock bag into it.
4.  Place the smaller ziplock bag into the larger bag. 
5. Shake the larger bag from the corners, try not to touch the ice too much - it's very cold!
6.  Shake until you can feel the milk has hardened into an ice-cream-like texture.

Vanilla Ice Cream

Word Equation:
milk+sugar+vanilla essence --> vanilla ice-cream

The science behind this chemical reaction is that mixing ice and salt causes the ice to be able to melt into water while it is still at the temperature of ice - below 0 degrees. Try not to touch the freezing cold ice-water while shaking the bag, as it can cause second or third-degree burns similar to frostbite. The ice-cream tasted really nice, but some bags had a slight salty taste because there was some salty water sitting in the crease of the ziplock bag, which fell into the ice-cream when it was opened! 9PLa would advise you to wash the bag before opening it, while I quite enjoyed the slightly salty ice-creamy taste; kind of like salted caramel. Yum!