Last week saw the completion of Belmont’s first STEAM week. This incorporated Science Week and Maths week combined with D&T, Computing and Art.
The main theme was ‘Connections’, which led to the concept of STEAM Week looking at the connections between humans and the environment.
The week was launched on Monday in the Upper School Assembly with a visit from Einstein and Pythagoras who outlined what events the pupils could expect to be doing.
In the previous week Year 6 had already visited the Mill Hill Science Department. Pupils carried out a range of activities, including making homemade lava lamps, the strongest straw bridge and even DNA strands made from sweets.
Years 3,4, 7 and 8 were able to attend Climate Change workshops where they undertook a series of activities that were designed to inform them and make them aware of how climate change is influenced by their own carbon footprints, and how by changing our energy production we could reduce the amount of greenhouse gases produced. These were consolidated during pupils’ Science lessons.
This is what some pupils had to say about the workshop….
“I really liked the carbon shop, it really made me realise how to cut back on carbon dioxide emissions…. this workshop helped me find solutions.” Poppy 7JR
“I believe that the Climate Change workshop was a fantastic experience for all year groups….” Sofia 7JR
“In the workshop, I enjoyed the carbon shop because it really opened my eyes at how much carbon, even tiny things, produce…” Maya 7FH
Year 5 visited the Mill Hill Science Department and were able to do fun experiments across the three sciences, including testing an “Astronaut’s” urine for toxins (I’ve been assured that it was not real urine!)
Year 5 also hosted Year 1 pupils from Grimsdell, and worked together to make bird feeders, although I think most of the seeds ended up on the pupils!
In Computing, Year 6 used Micro: Bits to design a programme to record litter in the local area. The children had to create code that stored data which recorded the amount of “recyclable” and “non-recyclable” materials. They made connections with Science and D&T when they studied the different types of materials. The pupils will continue with this project making connections with Maths when we add our data into a table and graph it.
The connections theme continued in D&T, with the pupils producing 3R-Stars (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) out of used plastic water bottles. They replaced the original packaging with new messages about how recycling is important for the environment. Each class is hoping to hang them up in their rooms as a central decoration.
For Maths, the week started with Year 6 investigating coordinates on a Cartesian plane through the ever-popular game of “Battleships” – competitors sat back-to-back, and each took it in turns to attempt to sink their opponent’s ships by announcing coordinates to each other.
Tuesday saw Year 8’s “Big Data Collection”, with pupils investigating the correlation between different parts of the body and representing findings with a variety of graphs and charts.
On Wednesday Year, 7 investigated the properties of shape, utilising the Angle Laws which they have been learning in class to find all the missing angles on tessellating polygons.
On Thursday, our 11+ Academic Scholars investigated “Mystic Roses”, using Paracord to create structures in the Quad and attempting to derive a formula connecting the number of vertices of a polygon with the number of cross-connections.
There was also a Scavenger Hunt during KS2 Lunch taking place across the Adventure Playground and Quads, with children racing between clues to try to finish the Mathematical Maze.
The annual House Maths Competition was held on Friday during Maths lessons, with Year 6 tackling a fiendish Logic Round as well as practising their Countdown skills, whilst Years 7 and 8 battled their way through a Crossnumber and Group Round – results to be announced in Final Assembly!
And finally, back by popular demand, we held the traditional “Window Art Competition”, this year with the theme of all things STEAM.
In Art, in keeping with the theme of recycling plastic, pupils made fantasy sea creatures out of old recycled plastics to make them aware that the sea is being continually used as a dumping ground for the world’s plastic.
In all, the pupils had a week of fun activities which we hope have raised their awareness of how humans are connected to the environment and ways in which we can all contribute to helping our ecosystems cope with an ever-increasing threat from human interference.
Mr F Howells, Head of Science, and Mr O McGuinness, Head of Maths