Young Observer

A Different Approach to Science

On March 23rd, East End Primary hosted our first Science Olympics. A Science Olympics involves students working together as teams, rather than individuals, to complete science related tasks. The tasks encourage team work and participation, so that students are motivated to get involved. These tasks varied in intensity and all involved physical activity, demanded team work and encouraged critical thinking. Each and every student participated and win or lose all had fun!

Students were divided into mixed teams of 4-5 students. (Primary 1-3 teams and primary 4-5 teams.) The lower school engaged in the tasks first while the upper school rotated through seminars with various scientists from around the island. Students knew the name of the event that they were participating in but that was about it. All materials and instructions were provided at the time of the competition. They had to work quickly and effectively within the time limit specified. (20-40 minute time slots.) While some tasks seemed impossible at first blush, collaboration, trial and error and competitive spirits got the best of everyone and tasks were being conquered!

The lower school teams were challenged with building the largest sand tower that would support a 50kg weight and building a tin foil boat that could hold as many paper clips as possible without sinking. One team managed extremely well by being able to put 300 paper clips onto their Titanic ship. They could have added even more, but unfortunately we ran out of paper clips.

The tasks for the upper school were a bit more challenging. They were tasked with building the tallest tower made out of straws that could hold a marble and building a chair out of newspapers and tape that could hold as many textbooks as possible. Impossible right? Nothing is impossible! One team did manage to support one textbook on their creation for a few seconds before it crumbled to the floor.

During their time spent with the local scientist once the tasks were completed, students learned everything from how to hold their breath for free diving, the invasiveness of the Lion Fish, sharks, whales, the inside of a fishes ear bone, how long plastic takes to break down in the ocean and the life of a sea horse. Our scientists were: Dr. Alexandra Amat, Mr. Chris Flook, Mr. Choy Aming, Dr. Joanna Pitt, Mrs. Simeon Massey and Ms. Kyla Smith.

It was a wonderful morning of team work and exploration. Definitely a new way to look at science. I can’t wait for next year!

Laila Trott, Primary 6

Thursday, March 23 was East End Primary School’s first Science Olympics. I had a great time.

Everyone in school gathered in the assembly hall to be placed in teams. My team (Ronique, Jahquon, Jahsun, Serenity, Savannah and Raya) went to our first station where we learnt all about seahorses. We were told about their habitats and the process of them having children. Did you know that the male seahorse gets pregnant instead of the female?

The next station was all about the lionfish, which are actually not as harmful to people as you may think. They are only dangerous if one of their spines gets into you and their venom goes through your bloodstream. That’s kind of … extremely … painful! Lionfish lay about 10,000 eggs a day. By the time they are 10, they will have laid more than 50,000,000 eggs. The best part of this presentation was getting to actually see Larry the lionfish.

bodyindent: The next activity was to build a tower. However, there was a twist. We had to build the tallest tower out of 25 straws and it had to be able to hold a marble. We were given a few materials to help us:two pairs of scissors, ten paper clips, 1m of tape, straws and a marble. A few minutes into it we knew we were going to seriously fail. We had thought we were perfect, until … it came to the marble part. As soon as I dropped the marble on our tower it plunged right to the ground. Well, to summarise this challenge, we dramatically FAILED!

The next challenge was easy though. We had to build a chair out of newspaper. It couldn’t be any bigger than 15cm and no smaller either. For every book that your chair could hold, you would get five points.

At first we were clueless, but my friend, Savannah, had an idea for the legs. We took 14cm of newspaper and she folded about four pieces and Raya and I helped her to make four legs. After 10 minutes we were done. Then I realised that we didn’t even have a base for the books to stand on. So all I did was take 1cm of newspaper and … BOOM! A book was on the top and we did it.

This was an amazing day.

Keniyah Brown, Primary 5 – Smith

During the Science Olympics all the upper school had to rotate to different stations.

My best station was, “How long can you hold your breath?” The reason for this is we had to put our head in the water with a mask and snorkel set. We learnt a lot about how to do different types of breathing techniques. For example, you have to breathe from your stomach and air goes through your lungs and then you have a lot of air to hold in. I liked that station, because I appreciated learning about these sorts of things, as I find them interesting.

Then, after we ate our fruit we had to go in the assembly hall and make the marble balance. This consists of using straws and one marble. I found it hard since we couldn’t use the tape to stick it on the floor — we had to make the marble balance, which was very hard. However, we actually did it! It was a team effort.

This event was fun and I can’t wait until next year.

Aiyanna Bean, Primary 3

The sandcastle competition: P1, 2 and 3 were divided into four groups. We had a spoon, knife, two cups, sand and water. We had to build the tallest sand castle together. I felt that we were going to win. It was amazing! The sand felt rough. I think we worked great together. The pink team won. I was on the green team.

The diving test: When I was under the water I stayed in there for 2 minutes. The scientist told us about when you go deeper your ears will hurt. You will have to block your nose and breathe in and out.

Learning about lionfish and seahorses: Chris Flook told us about the lionfish. They are venomous and not poisonous. At last we went to learn about seahorses. The mom seahorses give the eggs to the boy seahorses. They give birth to the babies.

It was a great day!

A shared writing from Primary 2 – Wilson

We had to make a boat using tin foil and put it in a container with water. Afterwards, we put paper clips in the boat. The goal was for the boat not to sink, using as many paper clips as we could.

Djimin’s team used 100 paper clips; however, Nai-Indae put holes in the foil and their boat sank. Jaylen’s team used 200 paper clips and the boat didn’t sink. Kallie’s team won using 300 paper clips and received a prize.

A shared writing from Primary 1

On Thursday, our school had a Science Olympics.

We did two experiments. One was the sand and water experiment.

We had to make a sand tower and put a weight on the top. The tallest one won.

This was our favourite challenge. The second experiment was with water, foil and paper clips. You had to make a boat from the foil and put the paper clips in the boat.

We had fun at the Science Olympics!