With the introduction of a dedicated Science teacher in 2011, participants, children and adults alike have been given greater opportunities to observe, explore, share, create, build and deepen their understandings of the world around them.
Students have been challenged to ask questions, research and problem solve, design, create, produce, evaluate, communicate and assess. They have a deeper understanding of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, and are better able to make links to understand environmental impacts and effects and the interdependence of living things.
Science is taught in the Outdoor Learning Centre which is situated in the garden. Lessons work out of the shed and take advantage of the amazing garden as a resource. The large shed provides shelter from the rain and warmth with the help of the pot belly oven.
The Prep students are being introduced to the school garden. This is an exciting time for students as they discover this new world full of life and cycles. They explore the different shapes and sizes of flowers, leaves and plants. As well as getting their hands dirty as they differentiate the different types of soils and learn what plants need to grow.
Flight is a concept that has fascinated people form the earliest times. Aspirations to fly are recorded amongst the earliest myths. Looking at pictures of the first attempts to create flying machines is an interesting, often amusing experience. Making and launching flying crafts are activities that provide a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction. These experiences also give students the opportunity to explore basic aerodynamics and understand the underlying principles of flight. The students are encouraged to design, construct and test their own ‘working’ flying models.
We depend on plants for the oxygen we breathe, many foods, fibres, building materials, medicines and fuels, and for the pleasures of beautiful flowers. Agriculture, horticulture, forestry, conservation of natural habitats and gardening all require an understanding of plants.
Students' beliefs about flowering plants will be challenged as they work through hands-on activities. Students will develop a sense of wonder and appreciation of plants as they investigate the process of germination, the stages in a plant's life cycle and what plants need for growth.
Micro-organisms affect everyone. Some are helpful, while others are harmful. Pathogenic micro-organisms can cause diseases like sore throats, influenza, tuberculosis and AIDS. Decomposer micro-organisms decay rotting plant and animal matter, returning important nutrients back into the soil. Food spoilage micro-organisms such as mould ruin stored food. Other bacteria and yeasts are vital to the production of food and drinks like yoghurt and bread, and beer and wine.
Students will develop an understanding of the role of micro-organisms in food and medicine. They will investigate the conditions micro-organisms need to grow, learn about yeast and the bread-making process, and research the development of penicillin.
Here are some movies a couple of students put together.
Burwood Heights Primary School is involved in the Scientists in Schools program. This allows us and our students to work with a scientist in a flexible, professional partnership. Our scientist is a parent from the school, Michael Turner. He works for the Defence Science and Technology Organisation. Michael acts as a mentor, role model and an inspiration for our students, providing us with access to new ideas and fresh perspectives in science.