Year 5 – Innovation, Sustainability and Responsibility
The students in Year 5 have been on a journey of discovery throughout their current unit of inquiry, which concludes this week. The boys worked with the central idea, ‘An understanding and application of scientific principles allows people to be innovative, sustainable and responsible for the Earth’, with a particular focus on innovation, sustainability and responsibility.
From the start, the unit encouraged a lot of ‘tinkering’ which was beneficial to many of the boys who were keen to understand more about electricity and materials (scientific principles). Students were given the opportunity to open up and strip components from everyday electrical items such torches and fans, examine the circuitry, build their own circuits for a variety of purposes (primarily games), and motorise their own Lego jousting chariots.
Activities like these provided the boys with hands on, practical learning experiences – learning through ‘doing’. This was combined with frequent design thinking opportunities throughout the unit, as we continue to grow a culture around design thinking across the school.
The boys had the opportunity to visit the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), Australia’s only nuclear reactor. It was a fascinating excursion for both students and staff, and really allowed the boys to better understand the concept of innovation, particularly in an Australian context.
The boys also conducted their own ‘mini inquiries’ looking into a sustainability issue currently affecting the world – deforestation, nuclear waste, ocean garbage etc. The boys enjoy the inquiry process and it is good to get them into a way of ‘Exhibition’ thinking in preparation for this time next year in Year 6. This research and presentation of ideas culminated in the Public Speaking Competition, which was very strong in Year 5 this year. Four boys from Year 5 will present to the rest of the school in the final, each of whom is passionate about their sustainability issue, and has researched responsibility and innovation related to their issue.
Sam Watson – Year 5 Teacher