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Outreach Program: Bringing Science to Primary School Students ACP Poster Information Inquiry Question: HOW IS ELECTRICITY GENERATED


OVERVIEW Our Applied Curriculum Project (ACP) was situated at Gilmore Girls College, Footscray. It was designed to engage students in senior primary school with science concepts and activities that would not normally be available to them at their level of schooling. Students in primary school typically do not undertake in-depth or sustained scientific studies. Primary schools seldom have access to the kind of equipment, facilities and specialist teachers available to secondary schools, where the study of science is generally more rich and engaging. A well planned science curriculum improves students literacy and numeracy skills, as well as encouraging their curiosity, problem solving and inquiry skills. For this reason we believe that engagement with science is one of the most important subject areas in the curriculum. Our project focussed on a four week program involving 90 minute lessons each week. We chose a study of electricity and designed our unit to tie into the Science AusVELS curriculum (specifically physical sciences ACSSU097 and ACSSU219), with the cross curriculum priority of

sustainability as an underlying focus. Our program was structured in the following outline: Week one: Introduction to energy transfers and static electricity Week two: Introduction to current electricity and power generation Week three: Investigating wind turbines Week four: Inquiry activity - designing a wind turbine Throughout the program students were given digital cameras to record their learning. Each group used these photos to create a short video as a reflection of what they had learned and experienced over the four weeks. This was designed to both involve the students in reflective practice as well as allowing them to demonstrate their learning through an ICT and multiliteracy application. Unfortunately we were only able to engage one school in the full program. However, we were able to incorporate what we had designed into the schools existing Gilmore Girl for a Day program, where students from local primary schools are invited to the high school for a day of activities including one period of science experiments.

MY LEARNING The Bringing Science to Primary School Students ACP allowed us to develop a range of skills and knowledge, including: Planning a sustained inquiry unit based on Level 6 Science AusVELS. This unit was developed by our group in conjunction with our ACP mentor teacher whilst meeting the curriculum requirements of Kingsville Primary School. The lessons were structured on inquiry learning and middle years education theories, and heavily involved the development of literacy and numeracy skills. Developing skills to identify and mitigate the risks in scientific demonstrations and practical activities Using professional engagement both in person and across electronic media in negotiating the ACP outline Developing behaviour management strategies with primary school students, who were much more energetic and fidgety than Year 7 students. Facilitating students in producing visual presentations of their work, including direction of using ICT tools Experience in team teaching and managing class time collaboratively Integrating students home life into the curriculum, including student work taken home to show parents / guardians Using a variety of experiment in the classroom, including the STELR equipment packs Experience in teaching and engaging with male students

SCHOOL OUTCOMES The Bringing Science to Primary School Students ACP presented a range of positive and negative outcomes for Gilmore Girl College, including: Positive Increased exposure of Gilmore College with prospective students and parents, and local primary teachers A fully developed and tested science unit involving experiments, activities, and worksheets ready for use in future programs with primary schools Demonstration of Gilmores new science building Building professional connections between Gilmore and local primary schools Experience in using new STELR experiment packs Improved Gilmore Girls For a Day program with new activities, experiments etc. Negative Increased workload for ACP mentor during mid-semester report period Cost of using school bus to pick up students Interfering in school timetabling and scheduling Missed opportunity to develop professional connections and promote Gilmore with other primary schools not participating in project

SUPPORT FOR STUDENT LEARNING The Bringing Science to Primary School Students ACP provided a range of learning opportunities for the participating primary students, including: Framing science as an fun and engaging subject Providing an alternative environment for learning outside their normal classrooms Exposure to a science experience, including the use laboratories, lab coats & safety glasses Participating in experiments not available to primary schools, including the use of equipment from the School of Physics, University of Melbourne Understanding of the scientific method e.g. developing hypothesis, observing experiments, recording data, discussing and analysing results Exposure to the AusVELS cross-curriculum priority of sustainability Working in teams, thereby developing interpersonal skills and building social links Reflecting on learning using multiliteracies strategies (see AusVELS unit)

Challenging preconceived understandings of gender roles in science and teaching

Lesson 1 What is energy?

Introduction to energy transfers and static electricity

Goldberg Machine Y7Y8w Activities: Putting Magnets on top of each other Floating paper clip Eddies Current in a tube: Drop a magnet down an steel pipe. The changing magnetic field generate a current and this slows the magnet down Plasma Tube: The moving charges generates a high enough electric field to light up the tube Using a balloons to generate static electricity Static electricity collection At the end of the lesson, students are challenged to retrieve a paper clip from a beaker of water without touching the water or the beaker. Making electromagnets Students use an iron nail, power source and copper wire to build an electromagnet. Electromagnetic Induction Students use a coil of wire and magnet to attempt to generate a current, detected by a galvanometer Waterwheel demo Testing the efficiency of a wind turbine: Different blade lengths Different blade numbers Free inquiry varying blade length

Lesson 2 What is electricity?

Introduction to current electricity and power generation

Lesson 3 How to generate electricity with a wind turbine

Investigating wind turbines

and number in any combination Prepare for designing turbine blades students consider materials they might use to make wind turbine blades. lesson 4 How to make a wind turbine Inquiry activity Designing a wind turbine Using all the students have learned they design wind turbine blades from any materials available to obtain the highest possible power output.

Acknowledgement and thanks We would like to thank Gilmore College for Girls for their assistance and resources provided throughout the project. We would particularly like to thank Lachlan McOmish for his time, effort and advice. Thank you to the students and teachers of Kingsville Primary School for engaging with the program and making it such an enjoyable and rewarding experience. We would also like to acknowledge the University of Melbournes School of Physics Outreach Program for providing us with interesting equipment and demonstrations to use with the students.