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Overview

STEM club links

This activity supports integrated Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) clubs. Here are some specific links:

Science

  • Introduces empirical investigation skills.
  • Illustrates the concept that science is often about trial and error to find the best method.
  • A simple example of reversible changes.

Technology and Engineering

  • Use design technology in creating protective and decorative packaging.
  • Investigate the best moulding methods – extend this by making moulds using plastic, foil-coated card, balloons, etc.

Maths

  • Work out unit costs and profit margins. Allowing for waste and unsold products, what is a good price? How did you decide this?

Curriculum links

This resource has been developed specifically for use within Key Stage 2 and 3 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) clubs to provide enrichment and extension of the curriculum. However it may also be used for teaching other elements of the curriculum at KS2 and 3 in an engaging, inspiring and memorable way.

Key Stage 2

SC1 Scientific enquiry
Investigative skills – planning

  • Ask questions that can be investigated scientifically and decide how to find answers.
  • Think about what might happen or try things out when deciding what to do, what kind of evidence to collect, and what equipment and materials to use.
  • Make a fair test or comparison by changing one factor and observing or measuring the effect while keeping other factors the same.
  • Obtaining and presenting evidence.
  •  Use simple equipment and materials appropriately and take action to control risks.
  • Make systematic observations and measurements, including the use of ICT for logging data.
  • Check observations and measurements by repeating them where appropriate.

Considering evidence and evaluating
Students should be able to:

  • Make comparisons and identify simple patterns or associations in their own observations and measurements or other data.
  • Use observations, measurements or other data to draw conclusions.
  • Decide whether these conclusions agree with any prediction made and/or whether they enable further predictions to be made.
  • Use their scientific knowledge and understanding to explain observations, measurements or other data or conclusions.
  • Review their work and the work of others and describe its significance and limitations.

SC3 Materials and their properties
Grouping and classifying materials

  • Recognise differences between solids, liquids and gases, in terms of ease of flow and maintenance of shape and volume.

Changing materials

  • Describe changes that occur when materials are mixed (for example, adding salt to water).
  • Describe changes that occur when materials (for example, water, clay, dough) are heated or cooled.
  • Reversible changes, including dissolving, melting, boiling, condensing, freezing and evaporating.

Key Stage 3

Key concepts
1.1. Scientific thinking
a. Using scientific ideas and models to explain phenomena and developing them creatively to generate and test theories.
b. Critically analysing and evaluating evidence from observations and experiments.

1.4. Collaboration
a. Sharing developments and common understanding across disciplines and boundaries.

Key processes
2.1. Practical and enquiry skills
a. Use a range of scientific methods and techniques to develop and test ideas and explanations.
b. Assess risk and work safely in the laboratory, field and workplace.
c. Plan and carry out practical and investigative activities, both individually and in groups.

2.2. Critical understanding of evidence
a. Evaluate scientific evidence and working methods.

2.3. Communication
a. Use appropriate methods, including ICT, to communicate scientific information and contribute to presentations and discussions about scientific issues.