Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Suspensions and Solutions

Today, we returned to our Elements, Compounds and Mixtures topic. We started with a reminder about suspensions and solutions:

Each group had 10 minutes to discuss the question, then 2 minutes to report back. Everyone had to "rate" the thinking shown by each other group, using SOLO.

Well done to Megan, Keegan, Harry, Sam, Emma and Jasmine whose answer was the closest to Relational today. We all identified some key properties of suspensions and solutions, and a method to separate them. However, nobody explained how those separation techniques worked.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The Science of the Commonwealth Games

This week, we are taking a break from our Elements, Compounds and Mixtures topic. With the 20th Commonwealth Games opening in Glasgow this week, we are doing some work on the science of the Commonwealth Games.

Today, we chose a sport and looked at the past winners. We looked for any trends: are times getting shorter, or distances getting farther; are any countries dominant, and could there be a reason for this?

Wednesday, Friday and Next Week
We are working with a Year 7 class. We have been given a sport to study the Science of, and carry out a "Fair Test" (investigation) on: cycling, shotput, netball, lawn bowls, swimming or sprinting. Can we find some Science to help New Zealand win GOLD?

One of the Bronze-Medal winning Quiz teams - Wales
Today, we were put into groups, mixing up the Year 9 and Year 7 students. We had a quiz about the history of the Commonwealth Games and discussed a couple of issues:
  1. How does the training of a marathon runner differ now (just before competing) and four years ago (when they are trying to qualify)?
  2. Is there a place for performance-enhancing drugs in sport? If everyone used them, is it really cheating? 

Kenya finished out of the medals in the quiz, but worked well as a team!
Today, we learned about the sports we are expected to investigate:
  • England and Scotland need to investigate track cycling. Which gear is best to use over a distance of 20 metres?
  • Australia need to investigate shooting in netball. What is the relationship between angle and distance/height?
  • Canada need to investigate shotput. What is the relationship between angle and distance?
  • Wales and Malaysia need to investigate lawn bowls. How does the speed affect the amount of curve on the lawn bowl?
  • South Africa need to investigate swimming, particularly reaction times to give their athletes the best chance of a good start to the race.
  • Kenya need to investigate athletics, also focusing on their reaction times.


Friday, 4 July 2014


Toady we looked at two different methods for evaporating the solvent out of a solution, leaving only the solute behind:

The method on the left was much slower, and it made blue crystals of copper sulfate. The method on the right was much faster but it left a white powder. This was still copper sulfate, though. When we added water to the white copper sulfate powder, it made a blue solution again!!

This idea of slow cooling and fast cooling helps us understand how different types of rocks are formed. For example, marble and limestone are two very different rocks but are made of the same chemical (calcium carbonate).



Wednesday, 2 July 2014


Solutions are a special kind of mixture that acts like a pure substance. This is because the solute has dissolved in the solvent. Some solutions are made up of lots of solutes and solvents:

Then, we got to investigate solubility or concentration. These are two important properties of solutions.