Term 2 Reflection

Section 1

This term we focused on science. We looked at many different aspects such as chemical and physical changes, changes of matter and their steps, properties and substances and a lot more. We also did our own research on a specific topic. This would later be presented to the class as a prepared speech. We would be judged on our work by our peers and be given positive feedback and maybe points we need to improve on. My speech was about chemical changes and whether the results are irreversible or otherwise.

We also conducted and wrote a report on an experiment of our own, based on the Year 6 Science Standards. In pairs, we were able to choose what we wanted to look into and how we wanted to do it. My partner was Zoe and we decided to base our experiment of rusting, specifically what fluids cause steel wool to rust.

Here are some thoughts and opinions I have around the topic for this term…

Three things I found interesting or surprising

  • A chemical change means a change that can result in the formation of new chemicals or substances. It also means making or breaking the bonds between atoms. These are often irreversible. A physical change on the other hand, is when you can change something from one state of matter to another without creating or losing any chemicals or substances during this process. These changes are generally reversible. The main difference between the two is that in one, the chemical change, you are creating

 

  • Chemical changes are mostly irreversible. When two reactants react upon each other, causing a chemical change, they generally can’t be pulled apart. The reactants combine to create new substances that can’t be undone. Although, in some cases, chemical changes can actually be reversible. This is when two substances form and create a new material but can also be reverted back to its original state. The change may cause is to have a different appearance or touch, but it is still the same substance/substances then it was originally.

 

  • To create rust, steel needs to be exposed to both water and oxygen. In oxygen or plain air, the process will be quite slow since there is very little moisture or water although it is still there. If the other way round and in only water, even though there are still oxygen molecules present, there aren’t enough to have the same effect if there was a larger, equal amount. Both ways, the process would be slower if one material is missing or lacking. They need both to create the substance that is rust.

Two understandings I now have…

 

  • Nothing in science, specifically chemistry, can ever be nailed down to one specific topic or subtitle. Like I said before with chemical changes, MOST OF THE TIME the change is irreversible. There is no definite answer like many other science related questions or statements. There are rules and regulations around this subject or topic that is chemistry, but sometimes they could be bent or altered.

 

  • As the unit progressed, I discovered that chemistry isn’t only about mixing things to get something new. I mean, it is but it has a lot more detail than that and actually covers a lot more than just creating new substances. Through the topic of chemistry, we investigated states of matter, changing between states of matter, heat and pressure, density, malleability, the process of creating new chemicals or substances and a whole lot more.

One wonder I still have…

 

  • Having worked around the three states of matter quite some time, I’ve learnt a lot about them and am comfortable with the knowledge I have. Now, having learnt that there are two others (Plasma and Bose-Einstein Condensate), a question I am left with is… what exactly are they? I know that they have briefly been covered in a few of the prepared speeches, but I want to what they are and understand them as confidently as I do with the other three states of matter.

Section 2

 What was the most important thing I learnt?

Regarding to working in groups and presenting, I think the most important thing was to make sure you AND your partner both share the workload, but know each other’s content as well. You can successfully deliver your presentation and get quite a good result because of this reason. Sometimes you or your partner could forget or stumble over a part of your presentation so then, having known the content of your pair, you or they could easily jump in and redeem the situation.

Regarding chemistry, the most important thing I learned was probably to ALWAYS have caution and adult supervision when working with chemicals, heat substances, glass or any other hazardous material that could cause damage to you. Never believe anything is safe without having proven in it a safe way or have evidence before using it. Substances could cause serious injury or could even be toxic so always be careful.

How did I learn this?

Learning to share out the workload but understand everything came from presenting my Scientific Lab Report with Zoe. Every time we worked on our project, we would go over what each of us are saying so the other person knows their content as well. It was lucky that we developed this strategy because we actually kind of experienced it when delivering our Lab Report. While presenting, Zoe and I bounced of each other when talking about our experiment. It worked quite well and we presented successfully. It was a good skill to learn and it was definitely useful.

The safety aspect came from the Mount Alexander College excursion we went on earlier in the term. While conducting the each experiment, each presenter went through all safety aspects and caution you should take when repeating their experiment. They told us to never believe anything is safe when working with chemicals or substances and to always have adult supervision. I can see why they made this clear to us because there are a lot of dangerous chemicals, heat substances and science related equipment that can cause damage to you or your surroundings.

What am I going to do with what I’ve learnt?

I will definitely take everything I have learnt with me to high school where I will be able to extend my knowledge around science. When you start, the only subject you have around science is covering the whole topic in general but when you get to the older year levels, you have the opportunity to learn and specialise in one particular area. I may choose, when I’m older, to take up one of these units. From there I can use the knowledge I have now, and the knowledge I’ll develop in the future, to help me establish a better understanding of the topic I’m studying.

I will also take my experience of working in groups with me. As my brother has told me, especially in the younger years, you do quite a few group projects in your different subjects. I am excited to use what I have now and work with it to develop new skills when working in teams of people who I may not know too well (high school). I can take what I have learnt from this unit with me to help me improve my skills and use them in future years to come.

Did I achieve the goals I set myself at the start of the term? If so, how did I do it?

I feel I achieved most of my goals when developing, conducting, researching and presenting my experiment. Each goal I covered in some way when preparing my Lab Report. My science goals related to the topic of my experiment and my prepared speech and my maths and literacy goals were incorporated in the presentation of my lab report. I feel I have achieved my goals for this term and I am fairly comfortable with the stage I am at with them.

 

Overall, I found the topic of this term quite interesting. I really enjoyed learning about chemistry and am hoping that in the future I am able to continue learning and understanding even more about it. I had a lot of fun throughout all the activities and projects we did and I think this is my favourite subject yet.

Prepared Speech Reflection/Evaluation

This term, I and the rest of the 5/6’s were asked to create a 3 minute prepared speech on a topic given to us by the teachers. The overall topic was science but we all researched different aspects of it. In each class, around 6 people were scheduled to present each week. After we had done their speech, the rest of the class evaluated and gave feedback on how we went. Now, I will evaluate myself on my presentation.

First we will start with some difficulties I faced while preparing/researching my speech.

The topic I was given was chemical changes and whether their results were irreversible or otherwise. I was scheduled to present in the first week which only gave me a week to research and put together my speech. This was a little challenging since it’s such a broad subject and has many complex explanations. In the end, I just tried to reword it all to suit my audience and I think they did end up understanding what I was talking about.

Something else I found challenging towards the start was having bullet point cue cards. It didn’t have any flowing sentences, just simple, yet important notes. I am usually used to having a full speech down on cue cards to be able to fall back on but now that I took the extra step further, I learned that it’s really not too hard.

Now it’s time to move on to the stronger points in my presentation.

I feel I used the time I was given quite well. When I first started to develop my speech, the time frame was actually 2 min instead of three, but then the 5/6 teachers decided that we should put in more content and changed it to 3 mins. I wasn’t to sure how to add in an extra minutes worth of information so I just went to my individual points and proof read and expanded on each and in no time I had enough information to last me the whole 3 mins. Something I liked about my content is that I didn’t only answer the question I was given and gave an explanation , I expanded on that explanation and spoke about why chemical changes are irreversible then compared them with physical changes, which are reversible, and sorted out why that is. I also grew on the fact that some chemical changes are reversible then used “Compare and Contrast”, one of the 9 High Yield Strategies, to explain why this is the case.

When presenting my prepared speech, I feel my actual presentation itself was quite strong. I didn’t need to look down at my cue cards to much seeing as though I had rehearsed for a while. My cue cards only did have the subtitle of each paragraph and a few notes of what needs to be said anyway. I feel I made direct eye contact with many of my peers and I projected my voice so I could clearly be heard. I have alot more confidence in myself now compared to when I first started public speaking and I feel that really showed. I’m still a little sketchy in some areas so this “Class Masters” program may help me quite a bit.

Let’s now talk about some work habits I could change to achieve some higher results.

Something that I could change in my work habits is to make sure that I fully understand the information I put down in my notes as soon as I even read it. Knowing the information earlier will help me be able to deliver it with more confidence and will show that I understand everything that I am presenting. This is important because it becomes believable which is exactly what you want your audience to think.

Another thing I would like to change about my work strategies is to be able to present something confidently without cue cards or something to prompt me. This would be very useful since something like this may occur when I go forward to high-school and I want to be prepared and know how to structure the speech in my head. If I start to practice slowly now, I will be able to develop that strategy and be able to use it with ease.

Finally, I will talk about how I can put these skills to use.

The skills and strategies I used while developing my prepared speech are similar to the ones I would use prepping for a project. I could definitely use these techniques to help me prepare for a project in almost any other subject.

When I present at assembly, it is essentially just another prepared speech. I use the simple strategies to help get through my nerves and deliver the criteria I’ve been given. I’ve learned quite a bit on how to prepare myself for my oral and physical during this program and I can definitely use what I have learned here in my future assemblies/deliveries.

 

Clearly I have developed so many new skills and am excited to put them to use. This topic was really interesting to me and I was happy that this was what I got to practice the new techniques with. Have a look at my prepared speech (which will be linked to the bottom of this post) and leave a comment on how you think I did. Obviously you can’t see my visual presentation but tell me what you think about my content. Did I cover everything? Have I left something out? What would you do to make it better?

http://alexis2013.global2.vic.edu.au/2016/05/04/chemical-changes/

100 WC Week#23

Dogs are… let’s say, my teacher’s passion and since, unfortunately, our topic is based on dogs for this term, my teacher, just like every other, can ramble on about them for hours. This time, Ms Troyen was on the topic of dog’s eyesight and how they can only see in limited color. I have heard this speech countless times so I started to zone out. I imagined what it would be like having all I can see in dark, gross, shades. It would be terrible! Color is what makes life interesting and beautiful, I can’t think of a world without it!

My goal for this week is to try to make my 100 Word Challenge a little funny and relatable. I was hoping that most students could relate to having a teacher that just rambles on about irrelevant things and that don’t have any relation to anything you’re talking about. This piece wasn’t focused on humor but I hope my audience does have a bit of a laugh.

BTN – Animal Testing

This BTN report is about the cruelties of animal testing, how it began and how everyone feels about it.

Did you know that people around the world spend approximately 25 billion dollars on beauty/ cosmetic products? That’s a whole heap of money for the beauty industry to be raking in, so it is only fair that they should be doing the job properly and with extra caution. That might be the case now but the way the beauty industry started… let’s say it was a little rough.

Halfway through last century was when beauty cosmetics became popular. They guaranteed you a better, more attractive you… but that wasn’t always the case. Some people developed rashes, burns, scarring and many other horrific results that came from dodgy make-up. Scientists needed to find ways to test if these products were safe to use. Obviously humans were out of the question so the next best thing they could find were innocent, harmless animals.

Scientists began testing all their products on these little creatures and observing to find any burns, scars or irritations that caused damage to the poor guys. If nothing occurred, they would send it off to the shops to be sold to the public and if not, back to the lab for the product and back to its cage for the, now scarred, animal.

In the 1980’s, word got out about animal testing and lots of people tried to take a stand, protest and end the cruelty that it is. The angry customers forced companies to look for alternatives, or different ways, to test the products. Taking those thoughts and opinions into account, scientists invented new ways to try out the cosmetics. Volunteers are now donating tissue samples, scientists are using artificial skin or body parts in their lab or are just simply using ingredients that are already known to be safe of use. Although as much that has already been done, animal testing has not completely been stopped or overruled.

It is still legal in Australia to test on animals even though it hasn’t been done for quite some time. The Government has decided that by July 2017, animal testing will officially be banned to all those in Australia. This is an amazing law, although we are one of the few countries to enforce it. Unfortunately, many other countries around the world still use animals to test their products on. In fact, in China, all products must be tested on animals before hitting the shelves. This is a very terrible situation which is why the Australian Government is enforcing this new law in hopes of spreading messages to other countries that we must stop this cruelty to these poor, innocent little creatures.

I have a few simple questions around this topic. Why were animals introduced to this mess in the first place? If we were smart enough to think of tissue samples an artificial body parts, why didn’t we just use them instead of putting animals at risk? Think about it, how would you feel if you were put in the place of these harmless, tortured critters?

Science Experiments

This week, my science lab partner (Zoe) and I conducted an experiment. Below is the Lab Report. We had standards to base our experiments upon which was posted by my teacher on leesclassroom. We decided to focus on the irreversible change that is rusting. Take a look at our report and feel free to comment if you have something to add.

 Aim:

To explore what fluids cause steel wool to rust.

Hypothesis/Prediction: 

I predict that as each substance had different properties, they may all have different effects upon rusting the steel wool. I believe the salt and the vinegar will have not the same, but a similar effect on the steel wool.

Observations:

Water – No rust occurred. The steel wool slightly absorbed the water. Water was a light grey shade. Hardly any changes appeared to wool, water or beaker. Most substances stayed the same.

Air – No rust. Same appearance, smell and touch. No changes occurred.

Salt water – Slight rusting at the bottom of wool and beaker, although more consistent on the beaker. The water turned a mid brown and wool absorbed a little liquid.

Tea – No rusting. Wool absorbed a noticeable amount of water. Liquid became a deep brown/green/black. Wool looked a little darker.

Vinegar – Rusted. All rust has either attached to wool or is floating on the surface of the liquid. Vinegar is a brown color and wool has bits of rust.

Discussion

 

As we have done a lesson on this before, our class should know that rust occurs because the iron in the steel react with the oxygen around us to create the new substance, ferrous oxide, or rust.

When vinegar is added to this equation, it has a reasonably quick effect. The vinegar strips the the outside layer of the steel and exposes the oxygen to it to speed up time and speed up the reaction.

The salt water, on the other hand, is a very good conductor too. The oxygen of the water and the iron of the steel wool react upon each other to create a new substance (ferrous oxide) and the salt speeds up the process.

The air, which didn’t have a noticeable reaction, needed for then 96 hours (4 days) to produce normal rust. Since it has nothing to react with or support it besides air, the process is quite slow and takes quite some time.

Tea is essentially water with a bit of flavor. Not having to be able to find any chemical formula or elements that create tea, we had to really think about this part of the experiment. As I mentioned before, water still reacts with steel wool and creates rust, it just takes a while. We believe that the tea would have the same effect since it is essentially H2O (water).

Conclusion

When researching this topic, we came across a lot of information that cleared things up and gave an explanation. Our prediction was quite accurate as we said that they would all have different effects besides the vinegar and salt. The vinegar and salt did have a similar effect, both causing rust, and the other variables

Something we found out about the salt is that the reason that it speeds up the process is because it acts like an electrolyte, meaning it releases ions to help speed up the process of rusting. Without the salt, the freshwater would rust, it would just take a fair amount of time.

We then did some research on the variable with the steel wool and air/oxygen.

To rust, the metals need both oxygen and water. It’s how it works. Leaving the steel wool with only oxygen and no direct water, it will take quite a while for it to rust. Since oxygen, or the air around us, does have a bit of moisture in it, the steel wool is still able to rust. The air can be devoid, or lacking the humidity of water. But since it is still there, the steel is able to develop rust it just need time.

Some future directions we could take to expand on this project/research..

Conduct an experiment testing if other minerals have other effects on rusting steel wool.

Conduct an experiment testing if salt will rust steel wool when combined with different liquids.

Investigate in whether soap effects the rusting of steel wool, (my partner and I had Steel Wool Soap Pads but we got rid of the soap before starting our experiment).

 

 

Bibliography

BBC Website

UCSB ScienceLine

Growing With Science Blog

 

Here are some pre/post pictures of our experiment..

Salt Water

Pre  WIN_20160616_143547

Post WIN_20160620_102337

 

H2O, Water

Pre   WIN_20160616_143622

Post WIN_20160620_102524

 

Peppermint Tea

Pre   WIN_20160616_143732

Post WIN_20160620_102011

 

Air

Pre   WIN_20160616_143757 

Post WIN_20160620_102627

 

Vinegar

Pre WIN_20160616_144035   

Post WIN_20160620_102150

 

Here is a procedural text to recreate the experiment we conducted.

Scientific Experiment Procedural Text

 

Check out Zoe’s Blog for her Lab Report…

Zoe’s Scientific Lab Report

 

Thank you for reading, if you have any questions or queries, please feel free to comment 🙂

 

100 WC Week#22

It was the perfect day.  Birds were singing merrily, the sun was shining nice and bright accompanied by the soft, bouncy clouds. An airplane swept through them, gracefully cutting through the middle, leaving one oddly shaped like a violin, at least in my imagination. I was hanging out with my best friend on the summer holidays. We went to the beach, we went to theme parks and to top it all off we had just eaten some delicious, yellow gelato. I’m so glad we came to the Gold Coast. Could these holidays get any better?

A goal I had for this 100 word challenge was to try to make the audience feel a little happier. Lately my postings have been a little depressing or down so this time I feel like I wanted to shed a bit of light over my blog.

100 WC Week#21

Empty. If I had to choose one word to describe my life, I think that would be it. You see, I’m an orphan. From the day that I got here, 12 years ago as a tiny baby, to this day, I have seen so many kids get out of this place and taken into the arms of a loving family. Not for me. I just sit around each day, go eat a meal then a whistle blows and everyone disappears back to their rooms. Every day is the same thing. I just wish that I can feel complete again someday.

BTN – Surf Titles

This BTN report is about the Australian Indigenous Surfing Titles and how some of our youngest contestants went.

Recently, the Australian Indigenous Surfing titles were held done at Bells Beach and all of Australia’s best Indigenous Surfers went down to check it out. Amongst them were two of the youngest participants yet, Summer Simon, 14, and Taj Simon, 12. These two little surfers have developed a love for the sport/occasion and have been practising for years. Although, the competition is tough for these guys since there are no junior events, so these guys have to step it up and compete in the open events. This never really phased Summer as she went on to win back-to-back championships starting at the age of 13!

But the surfing isn’t the only thing that Taj and Summer enjoy about this competition. They see it as a great opportunity for everyone in the Indigenous community to come together, surf together and have a really great time. It is also a great way to encourage some of the younger ones to start surfing and join the event.

Summer and Taj both admit that they weren’t pros from the start. They had a bit of trouble jumping into the art of surfing. But after practising for many years and having their surf crazed family with them along the way, they became some of the greatest surfer we have here in Australia. They believed that you can never give up on your dreams, especially when you’re on your way already. You have to work hard to get places and achieve your goal. If you give up, it was just a waste of time. Saying that, they are still out there on the beach getting better and better by the day.

“There is always room for improvement,” as Summer says.

All I’m left with now is a few simple questions. Are there any more young surfers with big talents like Summer and Taj? If so, why isn’t there a junior event in The Titles? Kids should have their own event as well so, why don’t we try to make that happen?