S.T.E.M in Ms. O’Donoghue’s Junior Infants

It’s science week!! The Junior Infants have been working very hard discovering and experimenting in school. Our S.T.E.M experiment is based on our pal Humpty Dumpty and the children wondered if we could investigate what materials could protect Humpty from cracking when he falls off a wall. Our first activity was based on Humpty Dumpty and structures. We know that Humpty Dumpty likes to sit on high walls so we got into groups and built walls as high as we could using a variety of materials; lego, wooden blocks, cubes, stickle bricks and duplo. The walls had to stand by themselves by the end of the 3 minutes with Humpty resting on top. We learned a lot about what makes structures sturdy – we discovered that wide bases were the key to making sure they stayed standing. We also discovered that the duplo wall was the safest and tallest for Humpty Dumpty to sit on (measuring at 20 cubes high!)

Next, we tested the best materials to protect Humpty Dumpty from breaking when he fell. First, we had to predict the best material to protect Humpty Dumpty. Predicting is a really important skill when you’re working as a scientist! We all discussed which one we thought would be most effective and which one we thought would be least effective. Some very interesting predictions drew on our experiences – some of the boys mentioned that tissue paper and paper are used when a parcel is packed, so they predicted that they would protect the egg.

We placed a variety of materials (cotton wool, newspaper, pom-poms, tissue, paper, and play dough), into zip-lock bags and placed a hard boiled egg into each one. The boys then dropped each bag from the tallest wall (duplo black wall) and observed and recorded the results.

We were really surprised by how well the pom poms protected the egg. The tissue paper didn’t protect the egg well at all, like many had predicted but we discussed that maybe if there was more of it, or if it was shredded, it might have done a better job. We think it would be a great investigation to see if we could make a special egg blanket/ coat from Pom poms in the future!