In Year 6 we have been venturing over to the Senior School for a Science Superclass every Friday afternoon. Working hard and collaborating together, our focus was science, specifically, energy and electronics. We were also introduced to the MakeyMakeys, a groundbreaking new electronic set that connects to a computer. This device enabled us to experiment with circuit boards and learn about how they worked.
We also learnt about renewable energy. Renewable energy is a key factor in keeping the world a greener and a more sustainable place. We studied new developments in solar energy, hydroelectricity, wind and wave power and how they are being harnessed in Australia. We created fun educational games designed to teach young children about electric circuits. We were also introduced to the Solo Taxonomy Key system to reflect on our progress.
When we were grading our work we used the Solo Taxonomy keys. There are five different Solo Taxonomy Keys, Prestructural, Unistructural, Multistructural, Relational, and Extended Abstract. Prestructural means that you don’t have any ideas on the subject. Unistructural means you have one idea. Multistructural means that you know multiple things but they don’t relate. Relational means you have multiple ideas that do all relate to each other. Extended Abstract means your ideas connect and you can go further than what you are required.
The project took off with a BANG with a visit from Big Bang Science. They came and told us all about electricity. We also had a hair-raising experience with Mr Hill and his Van de Graaff machine. Even the teachers got a shock-literally!
Every Friday, we learnt about renewable energy and the way it’s changing how we look at power. Many of us were inspired by the processes like solar, wind, biomass and hydro to make electricity. Along with learning about circuits we got taught to illustrate a flow chart consisting of a source, a transformer, the way it travels and what it’s powering. We also had to know how a circuit works with conductors and insulators and cells.
We also got hands on and started making things in pairs and small groups. One of the first things we made was a wire maze. We used a hook and we tried to not to hit the wire. But if you hit the wire you would signal a light bulb to light up. Once we were introduced to the MakeyMakeys we gathered a few children to teach others about the MakeyMakey so they could later teach more kids how it works. The MakeyMakey kits were very interesting in the way you connect an alligator clip to something like a banana then once you touch it the system signals it computer. How cool to be able to play a computer game with just a few bananas! We also made robotic machines that could be reassembled to conduct different tasks.
The L8 Superclass every Friday has been very interesting so far. We learnt so much about energy and there are so many skills that will be useful and they are definitely relevant to our future. We can’t wait to see what is in store for next term.
Jasper Tait, Arno Mens and Josiah Monos