Thursday, 18 June 2015

Spring Experiment - Science Ideas

In our discussion, we need to talk about the scientific ideas that led to the results we observed:

We also discussed how we would write this up if we were looking at an experiment involving movement. For example, what if we kept the mass the same but stretched the spring more each time, then timed how long it took to stop bouncing?

In this theoretical experiment, we are adding more EPE by stretching the spring more. This is transformed into EK. It stops bouncing because the EK is transformed into heat (and a little sound) by the force of friction.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Rugby Kicking Investigation

We are starting to prepare for an Internal Assessment where we have to design a Fair Test, carry it out, record results, graph our results, and assess our own method/results.

We started learning about Fair Tests and controlling variables with an investigation looking at the relationship between the angle we kick a rugby ball and how far that ball will travel before bouncing.

At the end of the investigation, we found there were some problems. There was too small range of angles and too many other variables. Therefore, we tried modelling the science behind the idea using little mechanical launchers:

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Graphing Relationships

Whenever we collect data where we are looking at the effect of changing a condition/variable (independent variable) on something else (dependent variable), we call this a relationship. Graphs provide a really quick, accurate way of summarising the relationship.

In our Rugby Investigation, we are looking at the effect of changing the kick angle on the distance the ball travels. This is a relationship, so we need to be able to graph it.

The data in the image below was taken from an online experiment looking at Hooke's Law (the effect of mass on the extension of a spring). We need to apply the lessons learned from this to our Rugby Investigation (and, eventually, to our Internal Assessment).

This is a very long video. The idea is for you to skip to the section you are working on or struggling with. Do not sit down and watch the whole thing at once!

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Critiquing Our Work

We have until next Friday to have our "Conspiracy!!" report (speech, written report, blog...) ready to submit. That gives us just under two weeks to get it as good as it can be.

Today we watched this video to be clear about the "Critiquing Process". It is a primary school context, but shows how feedback and advice can be used to improve our work.

Over the next few days, we need to have our first draft ready to be critiqued:

Share this with an adult (parents, tutor, etc.). Ask them what they think you need to improve on. Was there anything that was unclear?

Act on this advice...

By Monday next week, have this draft ready. Share with a peer (someone else in this class). The peer needs to tell you the things they really like about your work, as well as giving some advice. They may also challenge how reliable your sources are (using the CRAAP Test).

Act on this advice...

Before Friday next week, have a draft ready to share with Mr Nicoll. You will be given an indication of the NCEA level he expects it is at. If you are aiming for a higher grade, this is the time to get advice, "What is else do I need to to get a better grade?". If you are happy with that indicative grade, Mr Nicoll will tell you the strengths of your report that have got you at that level.

Act on this advice...

From Friday next week, we will record any speeches that need doing. Those doing non-verbal submissions will need to hand these in on this Friday.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Evaluating Our Sources

Today, we were shown the CRAAP test, to help us work out if our sources of information are worth using (only use sources we believe to be true).

Monday, 23 March 2015


We started our mini-unit about Conspiracy Theories. There are plenty out there...

Our challenge over the next couple of weeks is to:

  • choose a Conspiracy Theory to investigate/research
  • use databases, books, periodicals and the internet to find resources about both sides of the argument
  • assess the quality of the resources you find
  • come to a conclusion: Which side of the argument do you believe? Why?
Here are some possible examples:

IS IT TRUE that vaccinations cause autism?


  • Website Title: YouTube
  • Article Title: Jenny McCarthy talks to CNN on how she cured her sons Autism caused by VACCINATIONS!
  • Publisher: YouTube
IS IT TRUE that the moon landing was faked?


  • Website Title: YouTube
  • Article Title: 10 Reasons Why The Moon Landing is a Hoax!
  • Publisher: YouTube
IS IT TRUE that Global Climate Change is a myth?


Website Title: YouTube
Article Title: Is Global Warming A Myth?
Publisher: YouTube

IS IT TRUE that Genetically Modified Organisms are harmful to our health?


  • Website Title: YouTube
  • Article Title: Why GMOs Are Bad For You
  • Publisher: YouTube

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Heating Reactions

We looked at the following videos and had to decide if they were combination reactions or thermal decomposition.