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Learning by discovery

The third quarterly Science and Technology week was held last week from 30 August to 3 September.  The preceptors and students usually are equally excited during the week leading up to Activity Day.

The experiments are structured and each student actively participates in content-learning, estimating the outcome, projecting what they have learnt, discovery-learning and evaluation of what they have learnt.  We believe that learners should be carefully guided in the process of learning by discovery.  This helps students to build on what they have learnt and to reach their academic goals in future.  These Science and Technology weeks have proven to facilitate critical thinking skills in young students.

This term, Grade 2 students made tornadoes in a jar.  They learnt that a tornado is a violent, rotating column of air that forms under the right weather conditions.  When a tornado forms, it creates vortex which is a spinning and often turbulent flow of air.  The Science behind the tornado in a jar is that students create their own vortex by swirling the contents of the jar and observe the motion of the tornado.

The Grade 1 students did an experiment that illustrates how oxygen is used to keep a lit candle burning.  They did this experiment by lighting a candle, made it stand in a bottle cap, floating in water on a small plate, and putting a glass jar over the candle in the water. They learnt that the flame of the candle used up oxygen as it burnt and since the candle was trapped inside a jar, it used up all the available oxygen.  Without oxygen inside the jar, the candle could not keep burning.  They also learnt that when the candle was still burning, the flame heated up the air inside the jar.  The hot air expanded quickly and created higher pressure inside the jar than outside.  High pressure air inside escaped from under the jar that made tiny bubbles and caused the water to rise inside the jar.

Exciting stuff! Good job, everyone.

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