Monday, May 20, 2019

Super Science!

Last week, our class had a great time discovering some of the scientific principles that govern whether an object will float or sink.

We started off with a simple enough question: will plasticine float? We tried it out by dropping a ball (slightly larger than a golf ball) into a bucket of water. What happened? It sank like a rock to the bottom!

Mr Sanderson then told us a fact which we all knew, but that we hadn't really thought about before. A lump of steel will (obviously) sink in water, but battleships are made from steel and they can this be?

After some thought, we came up with the idea that it must be the thickness and the shape of the material that determines if it will float or sink. We then broke into pairs, were given a lump of plasticine and told to go and try to make it float. After only a few moments, we worked it out - you had to make the plasticine thin, and mould it into a boat shape. We tried it and voila! We had made our plasticine float!

Mr S then set us a second challenge. He gave us access to a box of 2cm wooden cubes and told us to see how many blocks our boats could hold before they did a 'Titanic' and sank to the depths of the bucket ocean. At first, our mighty vessels would only hold approximately 10 blocks, but then we started to modify our boats by making the walls thinner and the bottom (he called them 'hulls') wider and longer. Before long, we were able to place over 20 blocks on our boats.

Being the competitive souls that we are, we then had a competition to see whose boat could hold the most. Finn and Raymond were locked in a deadly battle with Samara, to earn the title of 'Most Excellent and Brilliant Boat Builder'. In the end, both teams ended up with their boats being able to hold 38 wooden blocks. This beat last year's record of 34, which was held by Alka and Shreya. 

Now for the 'sciency' bit! - Why DO some things float and others don't?

What causes some things to sink and float? Well, it’s all about something called density. Do you know what density means? Well everything around us is made up of tiny molecules. In some objects tiny little objects called molecules are jam packed together, and in others they are loosely packed together.  This is actually what density means. The objects that are jam packed together have a higher density, and the more loosely packed objects aren’t as dense.

Let’s think for a minute about other large objects like a boat, or maybe even an airship. How does this sink and float work? Some boats are massive, and would seem very dense, so how do they stay afloat? Well basically the boat has to push the water aside so that there’s room for it. As it’s so heavy it actually gets pulled down by gravity. But there’s more to this. Now comes buoyancy, which is the opposite of gravity.

But what is buoyancy? Think about what happens when you put an ice cube into a glass of water. As the ice cube moves some of the water to make way for itself, the water level rises and floats partially in and out of the water. Gravity is pulling the ice cube down and the buoyant force is pushing it up. How far in or out of the water your ice cube stays depends on its density, as that is what the pushing and pulling forces are working against.

Easy, right?

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

The Nerds Shall Inherit the Earth!

Last Friday, Rm 22 and 31 put on a SPECTACULAR senior assembly, celebrating everything wonderful about being smart, inquisitive and loving learning.

All the staff and guests were blown away with our amazing facts, Emilio's rather incredible recitation of Pi to 100 places and Miss Shreya's perfect explanation of how to solve word problems using algebra.

Oh, and of course...everyone loved our song!

We had a lot of fun creating our assembly and learned a lot about why it is a good thing to enjoy school and aim high. This must certainly exemplify the 'Wattle Grove Way' and is one of many reasons why our school has such a fine reputation for promoting excellence.

A huge thank you to all parents who helped to dress up our students in such wonderfully geeky costumes. It takes me back to the way I used to dress as a teenager!

If you did not get an opportunity to read our fantastic 'Bushfire' poems, they are still on display in the Block 4 Wet Area. They are definitely worth checking out.

Here is to the second half of Term One... Can you believe how fast it is going?!

Carl Sanderson

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Parent Information Evening 2019

Hello everyone!

Just to let you know: the Rm 22 Parent Information evening will be held next Tuesday the 19th of February, from 7.00 to 7.45pm. Check out the details below!

Rm 22 Parent Info evening!

Thursday, February 7, 2019


Dear Parents,

Just a reminder to all parents of Year 6 students - applications for Department of Education GATE testing closes this Sunday, February the 10th. 

This testing is designed to identify gifted students who are about to enter secondary school. Successful students may then be offered a placement in one of several specialist programs, such as art, music, dance, drama or academic extension. 

To be considered eligible for a place in these programs, students must sit the GATE test, conducted by the Department of Education.

If you would like your child to sit this test, you must apply online. Follow the link below and it will take you to the relevant website. it will also answer all your questions and provide useful information.

Link GATE testing website

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Welcome to 2019!

Hello, everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. I most certainly did and used the time to read a plethora of books, go on long walks around the Swan River, catch up with old friends and do some woodwork in my 'man cave' out the back of my house.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed my time off, I did miss my students and was quite happy to come back to work and see how much they have grown and how adorable the newest MAC additions are.

We have already gotten off to a 'flyer'. The new students have settled in beautifully already and the older students have quickly gotten back into the MAC groove. I am really looking forward to this year - I have planned lots of interesting learning activities that will hopefully challenge and extend the students.

For all our Year 6 parents, the first group of Student Representatives will be announced this coming Friday (8th Feb) at our first assembly. We would love to see you there...after all, in the blink of an eye, it will be the end of 2019 and we will be saying a tearful goodbye to our 'big kids' of the school!

I look forward to meeting with you all throughout the year.

Carl Sanderson

Friday, December 7, 2018

Goodbye, Year Sixes!

Over the past two weeks, we have been celebrating the last few remaining days of our amazing year six students and have held a range of graduation events.

Last Thursday, we had the official graduation ceremony, which saw 66 fine young people on stage, all ready to move on to the big world of secondary education! It was a wonderful evening. The students all looked a million dollars and they deported themselves with dignified distinction. Ava, Gnanadeep and Shreya all gave lovely speeches about their time at primary school, and Fearne helped to MC the evening.

Once the formalities were over and done with, we had the Year Six dance! I could not believe how many skilled dancers we have in Rm 22. Again, I was very impressed by the way they all participated and had a great time.

The very next day, we all toddled off to Fremantle, where we had the graduation lunch at the Esplanade Hotel. Again, the students were all dolled up and a nice time was had by all. The food was excellent and several members of the public (who were likely initially mortified when 66 children marched in to the restaurant) commented on their good manners and positive behaviour. That's the Wattle Grove Way!

We have only one more event left....the traditional 'Ringing of the Bell' ceremony, which will take place on the last day of school (Thursday 13th Dec). There will be, for the students and parents of the graduating students, a viewing of the Year 6 farewell powerpoint in the BER room opposite the kindy classes, followed by the actual 'Ringing of the Bell', which takes place on the grassed area directly in front of the flag poles. We will let parents know the exact times for this early next week. We encourage all to come and witness this moment - we promise there won't be a dry eye in the house!

Finally...I just want to say that it has been a complete joy to teach these students, and a privilege to have had some small part in their life. They are all an amazing group of young people and I know they are going on to big things. A huge thank you to all the parents, who entrusted your precious children to my care. You have supported me, helped me, and I can't thank you enough.

I have told the Year Sixes that they must comeback and visit us at least twice a year, to keep us apprised of their progress.

To all MAC parents, thanks for a great year. I look forward to an equally amazing 2019.

Have a great break,

Carl 'exhausted' Sanderson

Monday, November 19, 2018

Hooray for History!

Last term, our class took part in the National History Challenge, which set students the task of researching and presenting an information product based on a 'turning point' in Australian history.

This could have been anything, like when women were given the vote, or Australia entered the Great War, or when we became a federation in 1901.

Our students were allowed to choose whether they worked alone or as a team. Some chose to create museum exhibits, while others designed their own web page, and others wrote essays on their chosen topic.

The standard of work was outstanding and we sent off a number of entries for consideration. Here is an example of just one of our outstanding entries submitted - this was by Fearne and Samara, who researched the life of David Unapon, who invented many things, including the electric shearing hand piece.

After several weeks of nervous waiting, the winners of the competition were finally announced. We were very pleased to learn that two of our students - Megha and Sandra were both finalists (out of many hundreds of entries) with their individual websites on the dismissal of Gough Whitlam and women's right to vote. Both girls were invited to Applecross Senior High School recently, to be awarded their finalist certificates and to learn if they had won the 'big' overall prize!

Alas, the girls didn't manage to be an overall winner, but we are still very proud of them for their amazing efforts. Well done, ladies - you might be historians of the future!