Monday, 30 November 2009
Wednesday, 25 November 2009
Friday, 20 November 2009
There is a lot of talk of soccer at the moment. Teacher had some interesting science to show us today that looks like a soccer trick. Teacher made a small ball out of tissue. We had to blow it into a bottle goal. It was much much harder than it looked. When we blew the ball, most of the time it jumped out of the bottle, instead of going in, as we expected. Lots of us tried this, and we then tried to find a sure way to get the ball in the goal. What we discovered was that if you blow very hard at the ball, the air rushes past the ball, hits off the bottom of the bottle, gets forced back up the bottle again, and rushes out of the bottle, taking the ball with it. If you want to get the ball in the bottle, you have either to blow really softly on the ball, or else you have to use a straw to blow air directly at the ball. We are going to practise this lots at home.
We use lots of sprays in our lives. Today we made our own sprays. We got a cup of water and put a straw into it. The straw was cut so it hardly stuck out of the cup at all. We know that there is water and air in the straw. Next we were given a piece of straw each. We used this to blow the air from the top of the straw. This causes the water in the straw to rise to the top, and as it reaches the top it is blown into small droplets which make a fine spray. We all tried and tried till we each could make a spray. Now we can make them easily at home.
We found out today how to make straws into musical instruments. We squeezed the top of the straw, then teacher cut the top in the shape of a pencil top (or mountain). We could get the straw to sing by holding it between our lips and blowing. Teacher has a slide whistle. We could see that a short whistle makes a high sound, while a long whistle makes a low sound. With our straws the long straw makes a low sound. We can cut it while we blow, and listen to the sound getting higher and higher as the straw gets shorter and shorter.
We heard great talks today about movies that children in the class have seen. The presentation on Ice Age 3 was fantastic, and we saw pictures of all the different characters. We got chances to ask questions on the movie from a real expert. Other children told us about Up, Chipmunks, Aliens in the Attic, Princess and Caroline. All the movies sound great. We would love to see them sometime.
Thursday, 19 November 2009
Teacher has a tuning fork. She showed us how to make a note with the tuning fork. To get a note you have to hold the fork between finger and thumb and hit the tuning fork hard off a hard object. The prongs of the tuning fork start to vibrate. Once the prongs of the tuning fork are vibrating, the fork can be turned over and the bottom is held against the table. Now the vibration travels through the table and you can hear it reasonably loudly. Teacher had a c tuning fork. To get a different note you need a different tuning fork.When you put the vibrating prongs into a cup of water, the water vibrates and splashes out of the cup. If you touch the vibrating tuning fork off a plastic container of rice or peas, the rice or peas jump with the vibration.If you hold the vibrating tuning fork against a ping pong ball that is hanging from a string, the ping pong ball will jump away from the fork. Each time it touches the fork it jumps away from it, sometimes with a big jump. These experiments looked so great.
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
Mr. Bug came to visit us today. He had some really interesting bugs and animals with hime. He gave us a chance to see his animals, touch them, and learn how they live in the wild.
First of all he showed us his millipedes. They have 250 legs, these huge ones come from Africa and love to eat compost. We got to touch the millipede, and to see how he manages to move so many legs without falling over.
Next we saw giant snails, also from Africa. They love to eat bananas and fruit. They have no jaws so they can only lick their food. It must take a long time to eat an apple! We each got to hold one of the 6 snails, after spraying our hands with water so it our hands would feel nice to the snails. They felt tickly (which Matt told us was the snail licking us).The Burmese python came out next. He was lovely to look at and to touch - not at all slimy or cold. We know that he is so shiny because he sheds his skin every time he starts to grow. Matt had the shedded skin of a boa constrictor for us all to see...It was huge! Scorpions can sting. They have a stinger on the ends of their tails. They are shy animals but sometimes hide in shoes and boots, then sting the person who stands on them when they are putting on their boots. We don't have any scorpions in Ireland. We know that big claws mean small stings and small claws mean big stings. This scorpion had big claws and a small sting. He has 8 legs and 8 eyes so he is an arachnid - a cousin of the spiders. We looked at him but didn't touch.The tarantula spider is another spider who hurts. He has a nasty bite, although it wouldn't kill a human. The one we got to see today was very hairy, was huge and had bigger spinners from his bum for spinning webs, and huge teeth for biting his food. This spider also sheds his skin, but it is very hard when it is shed, unlike the softer snake skin. Matt showed us an old skin that this tarantula had before he got too big for it.
The last animal that we saw was a tegu lizard - tegu means lizard in a South American language. This lizard was lovely to touch. He smells using his tongue which is forked in 2. He grows to be very big. This little lizard was still young - only 3 years old.
We really enjoyed learning all about these animals and bugs. We loved looking at them, and touching and holding them. Thanks to Matt - Mr. Bug who gave us such a great show, and to the Galway Science festival for sending us Mr. Bug during Science Week.