Activities tagged Energy
12th July 2010
This was an activity for 1 STEM club session.
Pupils melted together 2 parts caster sugar to 3 parts potassium nitrate.
It turned into a big sticky brown lump – looking like toffee.
They dropped it on to tin foil – making a flat cookie sized lump – and allowed it to cool.
They then peeled it off.
We then went outside and put the smoke bombs on to the ground and lit them with a lighter.
They gave off a lot of smoke!
This activity was very popular with pupils!
25th November 2009
Students experimented with different coloured glow sticks measuring the amount of light given off and the duration of the chemiluminescence.
Glow sticks are used extensively as safety devices in situations where the need to be seen is important and reliability is required, i.e. batteries that can leak or go flat when stored in exposed or difficult conditions cannot match the durability of two chemicals stored in robust plastic containers with “shelf lives” of many years. They are, of course, more commonly seen at music festivals and fairgrounds where they are sold as safe and cheap alternatives to open heat sources (sparklers) or electronic devices.
Pupils used small hacksaws to carefully cut the sealed tops from Gelert Glow Sticks (available at most campling shops) of various colours. The plastic capsule contents were decanted to beakers whilst retaining the inner glass container. Breaking the ends off the glass container was completed using pliers whilst the container was held within a cotton wrap to prevent glass cuts.
After their mixing experiments pupils made several observations. The most interesting being that the external walls of the glass beakers used for mixing acted like “optical fibres” since the light could clearly be seen more strongly at the beakers tops edges (see the pictures). Pupils also noted that the pictures they took were so well illuminated by the light being given off that the camera did not need a flash even though the room was darkness!
16th November 2011
The Sun Project is a lunch club for girls who are interested in anything that is related to the Sun.
We aim to involve them in the development of their own projects, which range from the use and testing of photovoltaic cells, using solar energy as a heat source, to any solar physics/astronomy topics thay might wish to research.
At the moment, the girls have been involved in researching and designing a Sun dial, a solar water heater, a solar oven, and several objects that use PV cells (such as a water feature for the school’s pond, a solar pwered scare crow for the school vegetable patch, a solar powered boat).
10th May 2011
Fifty-five Year 8 and 9 students worked on a STEM project run by Simon Kettle from STEMWORKS, with support from Greg Lucas, Nick Crocker and Stefan Bucur from EDF Energy, who kindly sponsored the event. The teams were tasked with designing, building and testing a scale model of a crane system designed to lift and lower a Flask Lid of a radioactive container. Taking on the roles of structrual, mechanical and electrical engineers, students were required to use their problem solving skills to the full. All the teams succeeded in producing working models and were complimented on their teamwork and willingness to have a go at tackling a very challenging task. Judging of the various designs considered, the weight of the system, suitability of design, quality of manufacture and final performance. Following a tense lift-off, the team of Angus Brown, Callum Mitchell, Edwin Greves and James Lanfear were declared the runners-up. The winning team made up of Tom Butler, Emily Weller, Amber Cartilidge, Will Cleaver and Connor O’Driscoll now have the opportunity to represent The Cotswold School at a Challenge Event being held at Cheltenham Science Festival.
01st October 2010
This is the programme of activities that we are currently running this year in STEM club. Stem club has an intake of 20 year 7’s, 20 year 8’s and 20 year 9’s.
07th October 2009
STUDENTS HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE PROJECT TO RUN OUR GREEN HOUSE. STUDENTS WILL BE PLANTING A VARIETY OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES WHICH THEY WILL BE REPONSIBLE FOR. tHEY WILL ALSO WORK TOGETHER TO DESIGN AN AUTOMATIC WATERNG SYSTEM THAT CAN BE USED TO WATER THE PLANTS.
11th October 2009
Investigate how to make the perfect bath bomb mixture using scientific methods, then design the shapes, colours, scents and moulds. Make the moulds and work out how much they will sell for. If the bath bomb mix works the bath bombs could be sold to make a profit for the school charity.
21st June 2011
Out of a range of common everyday discarded waste items and some basic motors and pulley systems and propellers. Teams of students need to build a contraption that can transport a passesnger (egg) across a distance of 2 metres on land and 2 metres over water.
The qualifying criteria are for the vehicle to travel a maximum of 1cm/second over land.
25th November 2009
Instead of doing the usual (and obvious) stuff on fireworks during bonfire night week we decided to try to fly some Chinese Lanterns. We had tried to source the lanterns for some time so it was quite a surprise to find them very cheaply priced in a pound shop during the October half-term whilst shopping in Exeter!
Club pupils had already been doing some experiments on using hot air to “lift” objects but realised that the force generated by paper bags was not significant enough to move all but the smallest of objects. Pupils came to the conclusion that they either needed a source of heat that was much smaller in mass but released more heat energy (they had originally used night lights removed from their aluminium containers) or else a much bigger “bag” for the hot air to be held in.
Another failrly obvious problem that was very difficult to solve was the fact that the lighest materials we could find to make large bags from were often the most flammable and after not being able to resolve the “in flight fireball” issue, we gave up trying to make our own hot air balloons until we got the Chinese Lanterns.
The Lanterns are made from tissue (so quite fragile) but had been treated with fire retardants to prevent them from igniting in flight. They did prove to be quite difficut to burn (though not impossible!). What surprised most of the pupils was how big they were – almost three times bigger than anything that they themselves had tried when making their own hot air balloons.
In flight the Lanterns were amazingly stable (provided they weren’t being flown in overly windy conditions) and rose to an altitude so high in the sky that pupils lost sight of them (we tracked them with Mr Hardman’s binoculars till we could see them no more). The precautions on the instructions mentioned not to fly them in known aircraft flight paths or airport runways and that the Lanterns could reach heights of over 1 mile!
The pictures show club pupils and staff lighting and launching lanterns next to the D&T block (you can just make out our bird boxes from last year if you look carefully!).
20th July 2010
Two teams of club members have been entered for this – one team of 6 will work on ‘Energy and Your School’ and the second will work on ‘Water and Your School’. All tweleve will be entered for the CREST Silver Award.
Update: This was successful and completed in the academic year 2008-9 and all 12 members were awarded silver CREST awards.