Pupils go full S.T.E.A.M ahead

Pictured making snowflakes.
Pictured making snowflakes.

The children of Bushvalley Primary School held a S.T.E.A.M week in school from Monday, December 12 to Friday 16.

S.T.E.A.M. stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Maths and the project was co-ordinated and led by Mrs Creelman (World Around Us Co-ordinator). She decided to use the Christmas theme and the project was introduced to each class using the book, ‘Santa Comes To Ulster’.

The children used their ICT skills to create winter and Christmas scenes.

The children used their ICT skills to create winter and Christmas scenes.

All the children in the school were divided into 10 groups, with 14/15 children in each group. The groups were mixed across all classes and given a Christmas theme name (eg. Bells, Presents, Angels)

An hour was set aside each day for the project, with each activity lasting 30 minutes. This allowed each child to complete 10 activities over the course of the week. Each child had a stocking, on which they collected a sticker at the end of each activity, completing a full stocking by Friday.

The activities touched on all the subject areas in S.T.E.A.M. They were making reindeers from egg cartons, designing a Christmas picture on the computer, using measuring skills and pattern to make a Christmas tree picture, taking part in and learning actions for ‘The Twelve Days Of Christmas’ song, Making chocolate reindeer lollipops, Using match boxes to make cribs with the Baby Jesus, learning the poem and using actions for ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas’, making pop-up Santas, pipe cleaner Christmas trees and making and decorating Oreo and marshmallow Christmas trees.

The children reported to enjoy the project as they got to know other teachers and assistants better, they got to make friends with other children from different classes and work together, the older children got to look after and help the younger children and of course they enjoyed all the different activities.

The children making Baby Jesus cribs from match boxes.

The children making Baby Jesus cribs from match boxes.

The teachers and assistants reported how lovely it was to see the older children taking on the lead role in groups and being very caring towards the younger children and also how well they followed timetables and instructions.

Parents from the school have reported how enjoyable the project was for their children, remarking on how much they had gleaned from the experiences provided by the range of activities included and how nice it was to have the little bags containing all their activities sent home on Friday.

Mrs Creelman would like to thank Mrs Whyte (Principal) for being so encouraging and supportive of the project as well as all her colleagues (teachers and assistants) for their help in making the project such a huge success.

On Monday 19th December, as a special reward for the children who took part in the S.T.E.A.M. project, each class from P5-P7 was treated to an hour of Science led by Ballycastle High School. Mrs Stewart (Vice Principal), her Science technician and some sixth formers came into school and brought the project to a lovely climax, by leading experiments to help save Christmas. The children were involved in making snowflakes using pipe cleaners and borax and used electrical circuits to light up a nose for Rudolph, tying in nicely with the story shared at the beginning of the project, ‘Santa Comes To Ulster’.

Mrs Whyte would like to offer her sincere thanks to Ballycastle High for all their work in putting together the experiments that were so thoroughly enjoyed by all Key Stage 2 children.

P1- P4 were treated to a morning of balloon modelling and a Christmas movie. Thanks to Triangle Castles for the balloon modelling.