We are proud to announce that the Junior School has been certified as a Little Scientists House, due to our commitment to inquiry-based learning and Early STEM education.
We have been endorsed for our progressive and active learning environments. Through playful inquiry, we support our students’ natural curiosity to question and explore, while empowering them to drive the learning, problem solve and research answers to their own questions.
Our children face a future that is exciting and full of more possibilities than ever before. An ever-increasing area of importance is STEM skills (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). These skills help to prepare students for a fast-changing world.
The process of becoming a Little Scientists House included documenting one of our many STEM projects.
As part of our creation theme we wondered: “Why did God make water?” Students discussed their prior experiences with water: “We drink it, “We have a bath in it” etc. After discussing the importance of water, we were excited when it rained (in Summer!) We watched rain fall and the splashes prompted Alika to ask “How does it (rain) come out of clouds?” We conducted rain experiments with jars, water, shaving cream and dye. Students made predictions and observations including “Woah, water comes out and goes down because the clouds get too wet!”
When the rain stopped, students started making dams in the sandpit to catch the water. The problem was that the water kept running away. Lucas wondered, “If water runs away, how does it get hard?” We investigated how water turns into ice and how it melts. We had a class challenge to find the quickest way to melt ice. Students experimented with ice melting under various conditions e.g. water, salt, hairdryer. Jayden noticed that ice melts quicker in his hands. Lorie found hairdryers worked the best. We concluded that the best way to melt ice was to make it hot. Excitedly we watched students extend this new knowledge to a problem they had in the playground.
The students had large ice blocks outside with frozen toys inside. The problem was that the toys were “trapped”. Mrs Roberts asked, “Didn’t we try and melt ice in class?” “Oh yeah! We put water on it,” recalled Joseph. This was working…just not fast enough. Students then took the experiment into their own hands. “Let’s put it in the sun!” suggested Brianna (reinforcing our theory “hot makes ice melt quicker”). They put the ice in the sun. “It’s still not coming out.” “Let’s move it to the hot (paving) to be quicker,” Lucas hypothesised.
The students took ownership of the whole experiment, even finding their own paper and pens to record their findings!
“We, at the Little Scientists, loved that you made rain so much more interesting! We loved the way you built on a comment from a child ‘how does it (rain) come out of the clouds’ and went on to investigate the different aggregate states, how to make dams, what materials absorb water and, of course, how does it come out of the clouds!”
(Hayley Bates, Little Scientist National Certification Coordinator)
Facilitating students to take ownership of their projects and seeing where they lead is very exciting! The students have naturally inquiring minds. They are so motivated to research their own “I wonder” questions and to find their own solutions to problems. It’s wonderful to see the students working together and exchanging ideas as a team.
Mrs Sarah Roberts