Our investigation into Water wheels and 'Hydro power'
Continuing our 'Flow' topic and researching the use of rivers we decided to investigate how humans used water effectively.
We first looked at some videos to understand how a water wheel worked. We then researched hydro power; finding out how long humans had used the power of water to help the grinding of corn in farming, how the energy of water was used to create electricity and where the largest of the hydro power stations were in the world.
Then the real fun began!!
The children worked in pairs to recreate a water wheel. Precision sticking and securing of the buckets was a priority to make the wheel turn. Once the construction side was complete the testing began. The pairs each took turns to either hold the axel or control the flow of water and see the hydro power in motion.
As part of our topic 'Flow' we decided to investigate how plants survive in the water.
Do they have the same requirements for growth and life as a ground plant?
How have they adapted to survive in water?
Our first point of call was the school pond. What plants could we see living in the water? We next took a sample of the plant and water (making sure to not disturb it too much and to return it to its own habitat afterwards) and used it as a comparison example with a ground plant.
We looked for similarities in the different parts of the plant. We also used our iPads for research to confirm our observations.
As part of our 'Flow' topic the children investigated how the flow of water is affected by the shape and texture of the ground it passes over or through.
The first task was to create their own 'mini mountain'; using different types of soil to recreate the different areas found on a mountain. They worked in small teams to create steep slopes, jagged edges, flat areas and rocky ground.
This was then followed by a group discussion.
Which way would the water flow when they begin their experiment?
Using an iPad to record events the next stage began; to simulate a gentle rain shower, follow the course the water took, looking closely for erosion and deposition along the route.
The second stage was to create a heavy downpour. Observing to see if the water took the same route. Did the objects on the mountain affect the flow, did the water split into different tributaries and create separate water channels?
Each group then discussed their findings, using all the technical vocabulary they have been learning across the topic.
The children bought back water and soil samples from their school trip at Hubbard's Hills in Louth. The soil sample was mixed with water, shook and allowed to settle over night ready to be investigated the following day.
The children analysed the contents of each of the 4 jars and explained their observations; discussing how the soil had separated into different layers. Each layer was then recorded, showing if it was made of rocks or stones, water, plants or organisms.
The children measured each layer to compare results across the 4 jars and to see if the texture and content of the soil changed due to where it was collected.