Energy & Forces - Properties & Uses of Energy - Energy - P2G4
This is the homework for the targetThis is the homework for the targetHomework


PIPS2 Activity :

Class Lesson
Discuss sound energy. Observe vibrations by :-

  • ‘pinging’ elastic band

  • putting rice on a drum and clapping hands above the rice to make the rice ‘jump’

  • putting ruler on the edge of a table and observing what happens when it is hit. Observing how the vibration changes as you change the length of the ruler hanging off the table.

Catch sound by :-

  • making a sound trumpet using a rolled up piece of paper. Listen to the difference when someone speaks into it compared to speaking without it.

Homework Activity :
Design and make a ‘string telephone’ using junk material from home. We will test them in class and investigate which telephone works best.

Follow-up to Homework Activity :
Allow children the opportunity to tell each other about their telephones and how they were made. Allow the children the opportunity to try out each other’s telephones.
Investigate whether they work best when the string is loose or taut. Establish that the string should be taut for them to work best.
Discuss ideas about how to test the telephones and how to make the test a fair test.
Test the telephones and discuss the findings.
Complete simple report sheet (Word File)

Teacher's Comment :
My Primary 2 class used a variety of different materials for the ‘string’ e.g. rope, cotton, tape, ribbon, wool, string and for the ‘collectors’ e.g. yoghurt pots, bottles, plastic cups and tin cans. This alone stimulated a lot of discussion as they were interested in how different they all were and yet they all worked. I did pose the question, ‘which one do we think will work best and why’ and there were a wide variety of suggestions. Allowing time for them to investigate freely was important before trying to look at fair testing. When we did talk about fair testing it was important to establish exactly what this meant as one girl suggested that it meant that ‘everyone got a turn’. We decided to work in groups of 3, to find the best telephone in that group and then we could test the winners against each other. To keep the test fair they decided that :-

  • the same person should always do the speaking.

  • the person should use the same volume of voice.

  • the person should say the same rhyme each time.

  • the string should be taut.

no-one should test their own telephone.

Evaluation of Homework Activity :
It was difficult to establish a single winner using the children’s opinion about which worked best - the final 3 all worked well and had different lengths of different materials and different collectors. At a later date we did manage to borrow a sound sensor, which gave a more accurate result. However, the children had been involved in high quality scientific discussion and investigation, which they all enjoyed. It was an excellent way to evaluate the children’s understanding of the concepts. We got positive feedback from pupils and parents and I was pleased with the variety of phones made. Often this activity in class leads to most phones looking very much the same.

Susan Tollick
Torbain Primary School

PIPS2 Activity : String Telephones

Rationale :

As follow up to a class lesson (aimed at level C), relating vibration and sound, it was established that some materials were more effective than others at producing sound. As such we decided to test this by making string telephones.

The task :
A class discussion regarding the possible materials the children could use led to establishing the task “Design a ‘string’ telephone which will allow you to communicate clearly with someone in another room/area of the room.”

Materials required :

  • No materials need to be provided by the class teacher as the children use household junk. A supply of wool and string was made available for those requiring it.

  • An alternate way of carrying out this task would be to supply a variety of ‘strings’ e.g. wool, thread, string, rope, wire etc, along with an assortment of suitable ‘telephones’ and set each child in the class a particular combination to make, ready for a follow up class lesson, comparing and contrasting the telephones. e.g. wool and polystyrene cups, wool and tin cans, wool and cardboard boxes
    string and polystyrene cups, string and tin cans, string and cardboard boxes.

Development :

  • Class discussion regarding how to compare the telephones fairly (e.g. My class suggested - same person speaking, same volume of voice, same listener for each telephone then change roles to see if a consensus is reached).

  • In groups of 3 or 4 ‘fair test’ the string telephones to establish the most effective one in the group.

  • Class discussion, comparing and contrasting the materials used in each of the ‘winners’. Hypothesise which may be the class overall winner – encourage discussion of ‘why?’

  • Fairly test, as a whole class activity, to establish which telephone met the success criteria best.

Knightsridge Primary School

PIPS2 Class Activity : Look for/discuss examples of sources of light found in school and at home. Make collage of pictures of these examples either drawn or cut out from magazines. Discuss why we need light sources.

Homework Activity :
Look around your house for an object that gives out light. It must not use mains electricity. Please bring your object into school when we will test them to see if they do give out light.

Follow-up to Homework Activity :
In a dark room test objects to see if they do give out light Discuss findings.

My Primary 2 class brought in different sizes of torches, candles, pens that lit up, glow in the dark stars and a fibre optic light. Due to Health and Safety we did not light up the candles, but all agreed that they would give out light – some also able to tell me they would give out heat energy too. Torches all worked to differing degrees and while discussing why they were different, one girl asked ‘I wonder which torch gives out the most light. This stimulated more discussion and the decision to test them by switching each one on individually and counting how many people we could see. Glow in the dark stars were also of great interest, as we could see them but they did not give out any useful light. Nobody brought in anything that did not light up, but I did have safety reflector badges to demonstrate that these were only effective when light was present and were not a source of light.

Evaluation of Homework Activity :
Easy activity to set up, stimulated lots of scientific discussion. Children taking control of their own learning as the idea of testing the torches came from them, not teacher directed. Good way to evaluate children’s understanding of the concepts.

Susan Tollick
Torbain Primary School, Kirkcaldy