In science year 6 have been investigating microbes. We found all sorts of microbes lurking around school. We used cotton buds to swab handles, bannisters, pond water, specs, etc and pressed the buds onto plates of agar jelly. We left one section of the plate with nothing added. This was our ‘control’ and acted as a comparison.
Here are our plates of nutrient agar after two weeks.
Now you know why were always on at you to wash your hands before tea!
This term year 8 have been working hard on their chemistry and, in particular, the reactivity of metals. Using the reactivity series, they were able to ‘smelt’ lead oxide to produce pure lead. In order to do this they needed to use a blowpipe to add oxygen and intensify the heat from the flame.
After growing bacteria on Agar Jelly a few weeks ago, we tried our hand at growing mould on bread. We tried to find out what conditions helped mould to grow the best, and wheat preserved the bread. There were some surprises! here are our results. Yuck! Don’t eat this bread!
We found out… well ask a year 6 pupil!
Year 7 are coming to the end of a topic on renewable energy resources, and today we found out how generators actually work. We know that turbines drive generators to make electricity, but how?
Its all about magnets and coils of wire. Did you know that if you move a magnet near a wire you can make the electrons in the wire move – and moving electrons = electricity! So that’s what we did. We moved magnets inside coils. We tried big and small magnets, thick and thick wire, lots of coils, coils round things, bare coils… and we measured how many milliamps of electricity we could generate. The winners were Tom, Rebecca and Izzy, with a massive (OK, modest) 0.47 milliamps of current. Here they are working on their challenge.
Year 8 spent the morning burning food to calculate the energy content. We found that a piece of rice cake had far less energy in than the packet said! We think this is because are experiment wasn’t that accurate and lots of the energy was lost as heat in the surrounding air. It was fun though, we filled the lab with cooking smells (and burning smells) just before lunch.
Next lesson we tested food to see if it starch in in. We used iodine, which turns starch black. We all guessed there would be starch in rice and bread, but some students were surprised to find starch in carrot and cucumber skin, and none at all in peaches, milk, cheese or grapes.
Year 6 are investigating dissolving. Here they are trying to find out if jelly dissolves faster if you chop it up into small bits or not. It was very sticky and the temptation to drink the jelly was almost too much for some to bear.
We had to keep our tests fair by keeping the same temperature and volume of water and by stirring them the same amount.
We also planned a second test to find out if hot water helps dissolving. It does!
Here we are busy with our dissolving experiments: