This week at CPS we celebrated another engaging National Science / CPS STEAM week with a whole host of events and activities! While this year’s National Science Week theme of ‘Glass – More than meets the eye’ was an interesting lens to explore our STEAM areas. This year there were not only activities for all ages but also was great to be able to incorporate Art, Maths and Engineering learning on top of our staple Science and Technology focus.
Last week, we kicked off the learning with the Minibeast incursion for our Pre-primary to Year 4 students. Hannah from Eco Action shared with our students the importance of all species of life on our planet with a very informative and ‘hands-on’ experience. Students were able to get up close and personal with a range of stick insects, snails… and even giant cockroaches while learning about the invertebrates. Unfortunately, some classes’ sessions have been postponed due to our host being ill later in the week, however that provides something to look forward to for these classrooms in the weeks to come.
World of Maths
Over the last couple of years, CPS students have been developing their maths problems solving skills by learning the RUCSAC strategy. This strategy supports our students to systematically unpack and understand maths problems and then apply the most suitable strategies to solve them. Through our STEAM week this week, all of our students have had (will have) the opportunity to put their improved problem-solving ability to the test in their World of Maths incursion sessions. In these sessions, Sasha from World of Maths poses 17 hands-on problems that students are challenged to complete within the hour. Feedback from Sasha has been great as he has reported that our CPS students have been relatively very impressive when demonstrating their very high levels of critical thinking and problem solving to complete the tasks.
Whole School Challenge
On Monday, Ms Goodwin, Mrs Neuwen and Mr Johnson sat the whole school down and shared that we had a massive problem! It was revealed that due to the terrible, stormy weather over the past few weeks our school’s windows were looking very dirty and out of sorts. Mrs Fraser was determined to clean up the mess and that included getting the help of the CPS students! The challenge was put forward to the students – in order to organise the window cleaners, we needed to know EXACTLY… HOW MANY PANES OF GLASS WERE THERE AT CPS? Again using the RUCSAC strategy, students were a-buzz with energy as they teamed up and began forming strategies to solve this massive problem. Students were spotted in all ‘nooks and crannies’ of the school with their pencils and note sheets out, furiously counting and recording panes of glass. With the final numbers needed by Friday, we can only hope that those brave students, willing to apply their collaborative thinking will save us. Winners of the challenge will be announced at next week’s assembly!
Design Thinking Challenge
Hot off some fantastic results at last year’s Scitech Design Thinking Challenge where both CPS teams took away some amazing prizes, the 2022 CPS Design Thinking Challenge was again included as a STEAM week staple. This year we had 10 teams from years 4-6 come together, hopeful of winning entry to the 2022 Scitech Challenge in Term 4. This year’s problem was again very relevant and topical, with students needing to design solutions to allow students more freedom and activity on rainy days! Levels of teamwork, creativity and problem-solving could not be faulted, with an extremely high level of quality ideas and prototypes produced. Teams were extremely hard to separate and winners will be announced next week!
As per normal, the CPS STEAM committee put together an amazing assortment of activities for students to participate in during lunchtimes of week 5. On Tuesday Ms Goodwin and Mrs Sara Morgan guided a library full of students as to how glass is made and then supported them to code robots to demonstrate their knowledge. On Wednesday Mrs Marginis and Mrs Jenkin demonstrated how glass was an effective art medium and assisted students to make kaleidoscopes with mirrors. On Thursday Mr Lee, Ms Goodwin and Mrs Sara Morgan led students in a Minecraft – glass making challenge and finally on Friday Mrs Downing and Ms Goodwin helped students to use a glassmaking technique called fusing to create sugar glass decorations! Thanks also to Miss Nat for taking our younger scientists through a couple of engaging activities in the ECE area.
I would like to congratulate all students who put their hand up and engaged with some part of our Science / STEAM week program this year. Each activity had an awesome turnout and it was great to see our students thriving in challenge-based activities while having a lot of fun!
All of these fantastic opportunities could not have happened without the hard work of the staff involved. I would like to thank and congratulate, Libby Goodwin for leading the team, which included Sara Morgan, Kristie Downing, Emma Jenkin, Kerrin Marginis, Natalie Seath, Jasmine Neuwen and David Lee. Another brilliant effort!