Category Archives: Science

Video: An electrifying experience!

Bluebirds began their new topic of electricity today. Miss Timerick asked the class to think of as many things as they could they needed electricity. They thought of lots of household items and technology that needed it but forgot about things which needed batteries!

They watched a demonstration with a Van de Graaff generator. When the belt was wound up it made Mrs Johnson’s hair stand up! After, they saw metal tins blow off the top of the generator little foil balls jump around in a tube.

We talked about static electricity and energy. We learnt the metal rubbing against the belt created electricity in the metal dome. The force of the friction causes electrons transfer from one material to another. The material that has gained electrons becomes negatively charged whilst the other has become positively charged because it has lost electrons. The sparks occur when electrons move to balance the difference in charge on the atoms in the material and become neutrally charged once more.

If two objects with the same charge are brought close together they repel. This is the reason for hair standing up as the individual charged strands of hair are repelled away from the head and each other. Similarly, opposite charges attract each other and this can be seen when you rub a balloon on your hair and then bring the balloon close to your hair and the hair lifts towards the balloon.

Making ice cream

Bluebirds were like busy little elves this afternoon as they made ice cream in their Science lesson. They mixed milk, sugar and vanilla essence in a small bag and sealed it. Next they added salt to a large bag of ice and sealed the small bag inside. They massaged the mixtures for five minutes. Some needed gloves as it was a very chilly challenge!

Yummy… it was delicious!

Chromatography experiment

On Friday, whilst discussing Autumn and the leaves changing colour, Mrs Parry demonstrated how to perform chromatography to separate the colours found in leaves. Afterwards, she asked Bluebirds to be both detectives and scientists to help establish which staff member’s pen had written a note left in the staffroom, admitting they had taken the last doughnut! There were three possible suspects! The children conducted the experiment below:

The children had pens belonging to Mrs Butterworth, Miss McClelland and Mr Johnston. They had to match their ink to the one that had written the apology note to identify who had taken the cake.
Mr Johnston was found to be guilty…..the mystery was solved! Well done Bluebirds!

The children found out that Ink is not made of just one pigment (colouring stuff). To make one colour, you need several pigments and different pen brands use different mixtures of pigments. Some pigments are better at dissolving in the solvent than others. This means that when the solvent travels up the paper strip, some pigments will “follow” it to the top while others will lag behind. This way you can separate the different pigments (solutes) inside the ink.

Testing solvents

Today, Bluebirds carried out an investigation to find the most effective solvent to remove nail varnish. They wore goggles and gloves and really looked like scientists! First, they predicted which solvents they thought would work. They tested water, bleach, hydrochloric acid, ethanol (meth spirits) and propanone (acetone). Each group of three, were given a tile and then painted 5 lines of nail varnish on to it. The group then dipped a cotton bud into one of the solvents, to try and remove the varnish.

Video: Experiment using air

This afternoon, Bluebirds had great fun experimenting with air today.

They watched Mrs Parry and Mrs Johnson knock down a pyramid of cups using an airzooka, which is a gadget that shoots out puffs of air. When they pulled back the tab on the airzooka, it sucked in some air and as they released the tab, it shot the air out very quickly! Some brave volunteers even balanced cups on their heads….Mrs Johnson was a very good aim!

As we couldn’t see the air, we used a smoke machine to understand (and see) how the airzooka created kinetic energy which made the smoke travel. It then began to lose kinetic energy as it travelled through air. The smoke began to dissolve as it travelled because it mixed with air particles.