Primary Science Week at the Girls’ School
Tuesday, 12 May 2015
Science is one of the eight compulsory learning areas of The New Zealand Curriculum (along with English, the arts, health and physical education, languages, mathematics, social sciences and technology). Encouraging children to take an interest in science as a subject, and as the possible basis for a career, is a key motivator behind the annual National Primary Science Week.
2015 marks the International Year of Light and was the focus for this year’s week of experimentation, discovery and fun at the Girls’ School. The theme was introduced during a ‘hands-on’ assembly at the start of the week, which acted as a great spring board for the week’s activities. Over the course of the following days, all age groups were given many opportunities to ‘have a go’ with a variety of experiments and science-based activities that aroused curiosity.
From weather stations to electrical circuits, thinking about shadows and the light from the sun, experiments with colour mixing to robotics and coding, lenses, prisms and refraction of light, to finally tending the vegetable garden, the girls thrived on the exciting daily challenges. They came with keen, enquiring minds and fiddling fingers eager to have a turn – even when it poured down on the last day scheduled for gardening! Raincoats went on the girls simply got stuck in, ready to get their hands dirty!
Over the course of the summer, a giant pumpkin took on a life of its own in the vegetable garden, a product of regular watering and a summer of beautiful sunlight. It provided a great opportunity to divide chunks from the giant into individual herb bags, ready to go home and makes soup – giving the girls an appreciation of ‘garden to table’ and encouraging sustainability.
In conjunction with Science Week, NZAPSE (New Zealand Association of Primary Science Educators) organised a competition that focussed on light and photography. Some of our girls took the opportunity to explore the effect of light on photography techniques with some great results.
All in all, it was a fabulous week of activities that the girls took on with enthusiasm!