This year, we are exploring Science themes in a few different ways. We started off by really focusing on making detailed observations, both qualitative (what we can describe) and quantitative (what we can measure). One of our introductory activities in September was about finding common attributes between various objects to create an attribute sudoku. This was a great way to introduce us to critical and creative thinking as well, as we had to work hard to make our puzzle difficult to solve but still accurate in our observations. We got to circulate and solve each other's puzzles, which made us realize just how differently we all see things!
Once we had spent some time practicing these skills again in mini experiments about states of matter and chemical change, we each got to choose a seashell. We observed our seashell in as much detail as we could with access to any measuring tools that might help us. Then, we posed some questions related to our observations. This helped us touch on one particular curricular competency in both the Grade 6 and Grade 7 curriculum: posing scientific questions for inquiry based on observations. After some introductions to online resources with Mrs. Bonn in Socials, we researched our question. This week, we finally presented our learning! Although we still need to work on improving our research and note taking skills, many of us shared our learning in engaging and creative ways. We're looking forward to our next inquiry!
While some Science themes are well suited to research based inquiry, many of them are much more easily understood when we apply them. This is the other way that we are currently exploring Science. We have already started a few activities where we can explore and see forces and motion in action. Last week, we were given the challenge of lifting a marble off of a table using only a plastic cup. It was difficult at first, but many of us soon realized that using centripetal force, we could "spin" the marble off the table! This week, we are focused on building and testing weighing scales made out of paper cups, rubber bands, paper clips, and popsicles sticks. We have to accurately record our scale's data and then change one variable before testing again. This is part of the design thinking process, and now a part of the Applied Design, Skills, and Technology curriculum. It's also teaching us about the importance of controls and variables in any scientific experiment. The weighing scales are one way we can observe the force of gravity in action. These kinds of learning opportunities are helping to build our background knowledge for the final challenge later on in the term... but it's a secret! Stay tuned between now and Winter Break for more sharing of our Science learning about survival needs in the ocean and forces and motion.
We are a class of Grade 6/7 students in Surrey, BC, Canada. This blog is one way we will share our learning with the world!