We are planning a Science Focus Week  for the first  week of Term 4 and we would like families to work towards  creating something  that could  be part of a Family Science and Technology EXPO on Friday 21 October.  We are imagining that  parents may work with their children to create  something like: displays, experiments / fair tests, demonstrations, models… anything that sparks the curiosity of  students, parents and staff who experience the EXPO. Perhaps you would like to build a model and maybe  some would  like create device or model that’s programed.  The only thing we would say no to is a baking powder driven erupting volcano!  We are letting you know now so that you can have some fun planning a contribution  to this sparky day, that we hope will be a big hit.

Our planning group of students, parents and teachers has the view that this focus week should  spark science into greater prominence at Woodend.  We see science as an ideal way to grow our students’ curiosity and creativity as well as strengthening mathematical thinking.

Feedback from students is that they would like to do more hands on science, more often.  They DO want to do more science investigations.  They do want to construct more things and spend more time on longer term projects.  With that in mind, the following program has been  developed:

  • We will give a greater emphasis to science from now on, with a special week in Term 4 Week 1, 17-21 October. The focus will be on observation and fair testing.   
  • During this week all classes will engage in hands on science activities that focus on Observation and Fair Testing of investigable questions. Science activities may be set up by classes for other classes to try.
  • We will invite scientists  to visit school  during this week and engage students in activities that  promote observation and fair testing of investigable questions. We  wish to broaden students’ understandings of just how broad careers in science are.  Do you know anyone who could  be part  of this?
  • We have organised to  have a mirror dome  set up in the Atrium for several days during the week.  This is a huge dome that can accommodate  the whole class and will be used to project night sky activities or other science movies.  A number of classes will take up this exciting opportunity.
  • A star gazing evening for families has been organised for  Friday 21 October in the school oval.  There will be a small cost to families for this wonderful opportunity to use a telescope and find out from experts about the night sky.
  • A Family Science and Technology  Expo  is planned  for Friday 21 October.  On that day:
    • the Gym will be set up with all the science and technology  displays / projects / activities / demonstrations that have been created by families at home.
    • we imagine that there are lots of families visiting the school through out the week and particularly on this day.

In classes our science focus will be on  developing Observation skills and  Conducting Fair Tests based on investigable questions.  Over the remainder of the term, in every classroom, there will be  more  hands on science investigations.  Teachers will be focusing on helping students to create investigable questions, make predictions and then design investigations to test their predictions. Some of these investigations may be developed to share with others classes during our science week.

Over the next weeks, our science and technology resources will also be  improved by the purchase of more equipment for The Studio from money raised through our Code-athon.  Last week 20 senior students attended the STEM Expo at Tonsley TAFE and came away with more ideas for innovative resources to support their learning.  Exciting times.

A big thank you to Sarah Thomas for her efforts to  organise scientists.  We thank Flora Arbon and Gill Gunn, Jarrod, Lamshed, Barb Williams, Cate  Ellis, Sara Guinan and Brian Marshall who are also on this group and the 15 student who have provided a  strong student perspective. This group will meet again  on Wednesday 21 September at 3:30 pm.  If you have ideas, contacts, or would like to be part of promoting  opportunities for our students to be more curious and do more hands on learning, please let us know and join our group.

Though this focus we are looking forward to more  exciting learning at home and at  school.

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A-quest-to-improve: Helping students  learn how to pose investigable questions.

conducting a fair test … evidence based discussions …how to write investigable questions …science question starters