Float or Sink? The competition Begins!

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Outside in the playground the test begins.  Will our ships float and win …..or capsize and sink! 

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We competed against each other and the youngest buddy had the task of blowing the ship across the tub of water.  Amid much cheering and laughter, Mrs Berry and Mrs Small had the difficult task of judging the pirate ships.

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The winner was declared at the end of the contest. Well done to Olivia and Kelsey!

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Trip to North Berwick

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Elphinstone Primary pupils had a fabulous day out to North Berwick and had fun with Seabird Centre staff exploring the rockpools and taking part in a sandcastle building competition.

How clean are your hands?

In September two of our assemblies focused on germs and the importance of washing our hands when we go to the toilet and before we eat our food. Because we can’t see germs, children think they aren’t there. 

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At the start of September, we carried out a whole school science experiment using bread. Mrs Braby demonstrated this and organised the display. We took three slices of bread and placed them into labelled plastic bags and displayed these in the hall for everyone to see and keep looking at for changes over the next few weeks.

IMG_7304 Bag 1– Controlled Hands: Mrs Braby first put on protective medical gloves and then took the bread and placed it into the plastic bag.

IMG_7305 Bag 2Clean Hands: Mrs Braby first washed her hands very thoroughly with soap and then placed a slice of bread into the plastic bag.

IMG_7307  Bag 3Dirty Hands: A slice of bread was passed around every child in the school and then placed into the plastic bag. IMG_7302 IMG_7306 IMG_7303

IMG_7308 Many thanks to Leon and Huw’s mum for sending us details of this experiment. 

Look what happened! 

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After 3 weeks we could easily see a difference between the 3 slices of bread. Bag 3 – Dirty hands’ is almost black with bacteria!

The message to wash our hands before having our lunch was made very clear by this simple experiment.

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Science Club

Last week Science Club members had to find out which white powder had been “accidentally” mixed with the powdered milk. First members had a good look at all the white powders and recorded what they looked/felt like. The next step was to add water to each powder and note the reaction. Next, vinegar was added to the powder and any reaction was noted.
Members then tested the contaminated mixture with both vinegar and water to look for similarities. As health salts fizzed up with both water and vinegar, while chalk only fizzed up with the vinegar, it was concluded that it was the health salts that had been mixed with the milk powder. Well done Science Club!! You are great detectives.

Sciece Club2 on PhotoPeach

Biodiversity – A Word From The Expert

Stuart MacPherson, East Lothian’s Biodiversity Officer, visited Elphinstone Primary School this afternoon to help the children understand what is meant by “Biodiversity.”
Stuart arranged volunteers into a food pyramid. He started with flowers which were eaten by slugs which became food for birds. The birds were then eaten by our newly introduced Lynx (Josh and Kelsey)!
Thanks for a very informative talk.

Biodiversity on PhotoPeach

Forensic Science

Some pupils from primaries 5, 6 and 7 become Forensic Scientists on a Thursday afternoon when we meet for Science club.
Week one – The scientists had to find out which pen was used to write the incriminating message using chromatography.
Week two – Who spilt the hot chocolate powder in the staff room? The scientists investigated the fingerprints of everyone still in the school building. It was…

Science Club on PhotoPeach

P4-7 visit to Sky Academy Studios

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P4-7 spent a very enjoyable day at Sky Academy Skills Studios in Livingston. Working in mixed teams, they produced a Sky news report on the ‘Mission to Mars’. Each pupil had an important role within the team: Producer, Director, Scriptwriter, Presenter/ Reporter, Experts, Eyewitnesses, Editor and Camera Operator. The Skills Studios provided the children with an opportunity to develop skills such as creativity, problem solving, communication, teamwork and self-management by producing their own news report. It was a great example of co-opertive learning in the real world of work! 

Everybody received a well deserved certificate for their excellent and very professional production and the Sky Academy gave everybody a USB wristband with an uploaded copy of heir work. 

Sky Academy Skills Studios on PhotoPeach

Elphinstone participates in eclipse science project

A  very  rare  solar  eclipse  was  visible  from  the  UK  during  the  morning  of  Friday 20th  March  2015.  

WHAT  IS  A  SOLAR  ECLIPSE?  

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon’s orbit lines up in between the Sun and the Earth.

The Moon blocks out the Sun’s light for a short time, casting a shadow on the Earth.

It’s a rare event and only possible when the Moon is at exactly the right distance from the Earth.

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We did not look at the sun directly. The safest way to view a solar eclipse was to project it onto a piece of paper. Using  paper and tin foil, we made a pinhole projector. This proved to be a very effective way to view the eclipse safely. The image of the eclipse was projected onto the school wall for everybody to see.

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We stood with the sun behind us to project the image of the eclipse through our pinhole projectors onto white paper taped to the walls. Everybody took a turn to use the projector and was able to clearly see the image of the eclipse.

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Because  eclipses  can  also  affect  the  weather,  the  Department  of  Meteorology  at   the  University  of  Reading  is  running  NEWEx,  the  National  Eclipse  Weather  Experiment,  a  citizen   science  project  to  collect  weather  data  during  the  solar  eclipse  for  detailed  analysis.  Elphinstone  participated in this Science project and  submitted  our data  via BBC  Stargazing.

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We took temperatures and recorded them at regular intervals. During the eclipse, the temperature dropped rapidly.

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Throughout our observations, we noted that the wind speed and direction also changed. 

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P6/7 pupils entered all our weather data into the NEWEx website tables.

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Making our own wormeries

Tim and Liz from ‘Ormiston Grows’ visited the school to show us how to make our own wormeries. 

First you need a plastic bottle. Fill it with a layer of stones.

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Shredded paper makes a good layer of warm bedding.

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Add a small supply of food: tea bags, banana skins, vegetable peelings, coffee grounds, are all good. Then place a layers of good compost soil.

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Add lots of wriggly worms!

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Finish off with a layer of dried grass and seal the top of the container.

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Everybody worked together in their school home teams to make their own wormery. 

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It took very little time to make a wormery. 

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We gave their new homes name labels and found cool and dry places to keep them safe. Tim told us that every now and again we need to add a couple of teaspoons of water to keep the wormery moist. 

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