As part of our recent Science unit all about Forces and Motion, students recently were given a design challenge and needed to work collaboratively to solve the following problem:
Problem: A local sports store, “Eggsactly Sports”, is needing new ideas to help improve their line of protective gear such as helmets. They are looking to young, innovative kids to help design inexpensive protection that could inspire the store to make new gear.
Solution: Design safety equipment that will protect your egg from a drop of at least 3 m.
Each group’s design was innovative and well thought out. I was SO impressed! Students used a variety of materials some of which included:
We recruited some help from Mrs. Chapman to be the “tester” and with Mr. Ritchie involved as well, each team’s design was dropped from the roof of the school to the pavement below.
Students looked on anxiously to see what happened as a result. Did the eggsurvive the fall? Did the design function the way it was intended?
Take a look at the collection of 5 videos from all teams along with some pictures:
In class, we watched the videos to reflect on what we noticed or heard with each drop. They were asked to think about what they would change or keep the same if they had to do it again. Was our prediction accurate?
Three out of the 5 groups did not have their egg break. There was 1 eggbroken and 1 was cracked.
Overall, we had fun building and testing our designs!
If you were to do this experiment, what type of materials
What a special treat this morning as students came in to class, sat on the carpet, and listened to a short, live presentation with Dr. Jane Goodall!
Dr. Jane Goodall is a scientist and conservationist. She is 85 years young and spends much of her time, as she says, in hotels and airports, flying around the world promoting wildlife conservation and empowering people to make a difference in the world. Check out her website here.
Her skype session was public to all students and classrooms anywhere in the world and we were registered as one of those classes.
We learned a little bit about her extensive work with chimpanzees, which started in the 1960s. She answered questions from kids around the world. We added our own questions and followed along with dialogue happening in the moment. We even got to do a selfie with Dr. Jane! Students will go home with a certificate on Wednesday!
Jane urges students to find small ways to make a big difference in the world. She talked about her own program called Roots & Shoots which you can learn about here.
There’s certainly never a dull moment in Grade 3. We work hard, do our best, and try to have fun at the same time.
Below, students are playing “Quiz, Quiz, Trade” to review for our Social Studies test coming up. Students could use their notes, if needed. They coached each other if they weren’t sure of the answers and then traded cards once each student successfully finished each card.
Here, students are reviewing subtraction by taking turns coaching each other through the step-by-step process. They did such a fantastic job!
Check out this awesome tutorial by one of our classmates!
As a culminating project to our Rocks & Minerals unit, students worked hard to research a famous rock structure of their choosing.
The students chose to research the following structures:
Zuma Rock (Africa)
The White Desert (Egypt)
Giant’s Causeway (Ireland)
Flowerpot Island (Tobermory, Ontario Canada)
Ayers Rock (Australia)
Twelve Apostles (Australia)
The Wave (Arizona, U.S.A)
There are so many beautiful rock structures in our own country and around the world. Congratulations to the two young ladies who won the National Geographic Kids contest for best pamphlet! Sylvia Jane from California was so pleased to meet you and present your awards!
All projects were proudly displayed at our Parent Conference Night and students took them home to share their hard work with their families. Bravo Grade 3s!
There’s never a dull moment in our class! We’ve been so engaged in all aspects of our day–French, Math, Science and more. We enjoy working in different teams, sharing our strengths and gifts, nibbling on treats, learning about all sorts of things. Check us out!
Miss Robyn, a gemologist from Nash Jewellers, came to visit us on Monday to talk about minerals. What is a rock? What is a mineral?
Students loved exploring all of the samples she brought in.
She encouraged us to feel everything, examine, and investigate what was there. There were so many beautiful colours and shapes we could look at. Some things were smooth, others were bumpy. Some of us found our birthstones!
Robyn taught us about what properties a mineral has:
has to be inorganic (not living)
is a solid
is naturally formed in the Earth
has a crystal structure
has a specific chemical composition (Robyn called it a recipe)
We learned how different minerals can have different colours because of ‘trace elements’ or impurities such as iron or magnesium. Robyn taught us about some of the different families of minerals such as:
Quartz family–Quartz is a very abundant mineral. Amethyst is a type of quartz and is purple. Citrine is yellow quartz.
Beryl family–Emeralds are part of this family. Emerald is green because of trace elements of chromium. Aquamarine is another example. It is blue.
Corundum family–Sapphires are part of the corundum family. Did you know that sapphires come in every colour except red? When it is red, it is called a ruby. A ruby is also part of the corundum family.
blue sapphire ring
Robyn talked briefly about diamonds. They are the hardest mineral on earth. A lot of mining for diamonds occurs in Northern Canada at Snap Lake. Canada follows strict labour and safety laws when it comes to mining. Below is a picture of Ekati Diamond Mine in Northwest Territories. “Ekati” means Fat Lake. The rings you see inside the holes are roads.
Ekati Diamond Mine
Canadian Diamond Mines
Do you have questions about rocks or minerals or mining?
Do mountains last forever? This was the questions students in our class have been investigating over the last 2 days.
Students explored how solid rock breaks apart into smaller pieces through a process called weathering. We learned terms like ‘root wedging’ and ‘ice wedging’ and how the cracks in rocks allows for seeds and water to get trapped inside, eventually causing the crack to widen and crack the rock into smaller pieces.
Students modeled the process of weathering that occurs when rocks tumble and crash into each other using sugar cubes in a container. Each group of students shook a container of sugar cubes approximately 200 times and more!
We hypothesized what we thought our sugar cubes would look like after shaking the containers. We drew pictures and recorded observations as we worked through many trials of shaking. We took turns with our partner so we both had turns shaking the sugar cubes.
Take a look at what happened after the sugar cubes were taken out of the container! (One of the sugar cubes was left out as a comparison). Do you notice how the edges of the sugar cube became smoothed out and the cube turned into a sphere?
This is what happens when rocks tumble down hills and mountains. With wet weather and when you add friction, rocks eventually will break down into smaller pieces and may show smoother surfaces at the bottoms of mountains. See below.
What do you wonder about rocks? Have you ever found a really smooth rock and wondered how it became smooth?What is the most interesting rock you’ve found?