We all had a fabulous STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) week!

It started with a vertical day, where the children were able to work in their houses with other children from Reception through to Y6 to launch our theme for the week: 1001 Inventions- The Golden Age of Islamic Inventors. All the children carried out some exciting activities: testing rocket ballons, paper aeroplane challenges, constructing constellations and learning about the stars and the art of calligraphy. During the rest of the week, the children were involved in lots of other exciting STEM activities within their classrooms to learn about the important discoveries of these early scientists and mathematicians, who influenced STEM as we know it today!

Reception learnt about the difference between solids and liquids. We had great fun making slime and learnt that it was neither a solid or a liquid and that it was called a non-newtonian fluid! The children all mixed their own slime, observing how the mixture changed consistency when adding different chemicals. Another highlight was building 3D structures using spaghetti and marshmallows.

In Year 1 and 2, the children learnt about a famous Islamic scientist, Ziryab who created an early toothpaste. We had great fun making and tasting our own toothpaste, although we didn’t like it much! We read some of the 1001 Arabian Nights stories and we designed and made magic carpets. The challenge was to use magnets to make them fly. We also became tent designers and builders and tested materials to see which ones would make the best waterproof material for a tent. We also enjoyed STEM bridge building challenges inspired by the world’s oldest bridge, which can be found in Iraq.

In Year 3, the children were scientists investigating the function of a stem in a plant.  They put two carnations in jars containing water with food dye and then were amazed to see the flowers changing colour.  They had a go creating Islamic geometric designs by creating shapes within circles.  They also were set the challenge to turn a single sheet of paper into a bridge spanning 20cm which was able to hold weight.

STEM week in Year 4 was exciting! We explored that the first known toothpaste was invented in North Africa by the Ancient Egyptians as early as 5000 BC. We then created our own toothpaste recipe. We needed to decide which ingredients were abrasive to brush off the plaque and then added flavour and liquid to create a paste. We then compared it to other toothpaste brands to see which toothpaste could brush off a stain better. In Year 4, we also made Aqueducts. These types of systems to move water were used in Ancient Persia, India, Egypt. We poured water onto our aqueducts to see if they transported water. Other STEM activities we did were: origami jumping frogs; discovering oxygen experiment and designing Islamic tiles.

In Y5 and Y6 we talked about wind power and used our own puff to create balloon rockets.  The children had to work out how to move a balloon along a piece of string without touching it.  They worked out they had to blow it up, attach it to a straw with tape, feed the string through the straw then let the balloon go!!  Great fun was had by all. Year 5 also had a great time completing an engineering challenge, a maths challenge and investigating Islamic patterns. We had a great time building windmills that could lift objects off the floor and building bridges from paper. Some of the bridges could hold over 7kgs!