Friday, 18 December 2009

Santa suit challenge

We had great fun competing in a Santa challenge where we had to dress someone in our team as Santa Claus using only newspaper.

We used a range of skills during the task - measuring, rolling, curling, cutting, folding and designing.

Some of us needed padding!

Everyone had a job to do and cooperation was the most important skill to use for the task to be successful.
The finished costumes were all different with a variety of wigs, beards, hats, belts and boots!
Which one would you have chosen as a winner?

The importance of blubber!

We investigated how Arctic animals have adapted to survive in the cold temperatures they have to endure. Some animals carry a layer of blubber and we found out how effective this can be by making a 'blubber mitten.'

We made our mittens using lard and plastic bags.

We held our mittened hand and bare hand in cold, icy water and compared the temperatures.
It can be quite sore to hold your bare hand in very cold water for too long

We noticed how red our bare hand became.
The hand in the blubber mitten barely felt cold and wasn't uncomfortable at all.
No wonder Arctic animals who have a layer of blubber don't feel the cold!

Climate Change conference

While we are waiting to hear if there is an agreement amongst nations taking part in the Climate Change conference in Copenhagen at the moment, we have been busy learning about the Kyoto protocol .
The protocol legally binds nations who signed up to the treaty to reduce worldwide emissions of six greenhouse gases (collectively) by an average of 5.2% below their 1990 levels by the period 2008-2012.

We learned about it by selecting the main ideas from the text and explaining the information to each other 'speed dating' style!

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Climate change and endangered animals

This term we have been researching how Climate change and human activities are affecting the earth and some creatures that are in danger of becoming extinct. Some of us created powerpoint presentations to show the class.

Have a look at some of them here.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Ice bears and ice hares!

We have been following Climate change news in the media and newspapers.

The sculptor Mark Coreth has carved ice bears for display during the Climate change conference in Copenhagen. We are following the progress of the bears by web cam. One is placed in Copenhagen and the other one is standing in Trafalgar Square in London.

You can follow this link to see the bears:

We decided to have our own 'ice hare' project. We froze four ice hares and watched them as they melted.

Number 1 was the 'control.' It was made with plain water and we were not allowed to touch it.

Number 2 we were allowed to touch.

Number 3 was made of salty water and had food colouring added so that we could tell the difference.

Number 4 was placed outside in the courtyard.
We took photos every 15-30 minutes to see if there were any differences in the rate of melting.
Which one do you think melted first?
(You can choose your answer by clicking the button on the pane at the right.)
We'll let you know the results!
Update: The first hare to melt was the one we were allowed to touch!
The outside hare started melting very quickly (possibly because of the drizzle) and we thought it was going to be first but it slowed down later when the teperature outside dropped.
The second one to melt was actually the salty one with the outside one being third. The one that lasted longest was the inside one that no one touched.

Web chatting!

We took part in a live web chat with Heather (the weather) Reid, where she answered questions about the weather and climate change.

We asked her these questions:

How much has the temperature of the earth changed in the last 100 years?
We don’t seem to get snow at Christmas very often anymore. Is this caused by climate change and will there be snow this year?
How many species of animals will become extinct in the next 20 years?
How long will it be before the earth is uninhabitable due to weather changes?
Are all countries in the world warming up or will some cool down due to Climate change?
If we stop carbon emissions how long will it take for the C02 level to return back to normal? How long will it take for all the ice in the Arctic to melt at the rate it is melting now?

Heather answered our question about the snow, she told us we are more likely to get snow at Easter but she would do her best for us!

Learning about Climate change.

We are studying the way our planet is changing and the effect this is having on animals in particular.

After some research on the computers we wrote our own newspaper articles.

We thought about how we could be affecting the environment and little ways we can make changes that could help.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Inuit Art

Here is a slideshow of some of the drawing and painting Class 7 have created which was inspired by traditional Inuit Art.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Learning kayaking skills at Kirkwall pool

On 3rd Dec we went to the pool to learn some of the kayaking skills Inuit hunters would have to use in the Arctic. At least we were in warm water!

Learning to climb on and control our craft.

We had fun going over and under the 'ice floes!'

Learning to capsize was a bit nerve racking - but we did it!

Steering and spinning
Touching base.
Watch a video of us hunting our prey, racing to the finish - and capsizing!