Science – How the world works.

Before the Spring break, students in year 4 were busy building balloon powered cars to support our inquiry into how forces affect motion. The students followed a set of instructions to build their vehicle using a range of materials kindly donated by parents and friends. Some of the students adapted their designs to improve the movement of their cars.

After building the cars we were lucky enough to spend a morning with Ms Sutton, the Diploma Programme Physics teacher. She helped us understand the different forces that were acting on our cars (friction and gravity) and we tested how far they could travel when using 5 puffs to blow up our balloon. We used our mathematics measuring skills to estimate and then measure the distance the cars travelled and recorded the information on a table of results.

The next step was to modify and improve our vehicles to see if we could make them go further. We used the design cycle and revamped our cars, re-testing them to see if they went further! Some did and some didn’t, but we learned that commitment and reflection were an important part of the design cycle.

We learned that we had to blow the balloon with same number of puffs each time to keep our test “fair” scientifically and wrote our reports up just like real scientists would!

See below for a slide show of our building and experiments.


Field trip to Fábrica de Sabão

Welcome back everyone,

We hope you all enjoyed your holiday adventures and are ready to further explore and develop our learning for the rest of the semester.

Making connections to a past unit, where we investigated the concept of sustainability and our present unit, where the central idea is ‘People apply their understanding of scientific principles to innovate and create’, we are going on a field trip!

On Wednesday we sent home a permission slip for your child to go on our up-and-coming field trip. Thank you for filling it out and returning this to us as promptly as you can. A notice was also sent home with details and descriptors telling you about the trip, as can be seen below.

Field trip information

Year four will be going on a field trip to Fábrica de Sabão in Rua da Cerâmica in Cazenga. Keeping in alignment with the LIS Health and Safety and Security policies, the Year level will be split into two groups and go on the field trip on consecutive days, Wednesday 19th April (4.2 and 4.3) and Thursday 20th April (4.1 and 4.4). Each group will depart on their field trip from LIS at 8.30am and arrive back at school around 1.45pm (factoring in traffic time).


Fábrica de Sabão (An education centre for the People of Angola)

Is an enterprising education hub, which is focused on ‘tapping’ into Angolan people’s potential and creativity. The innovation-led education centre actively promotes entrepreneurship skills. It empowers participants to explore and develop their ideas while at the same time, providing instruction of the necessary knowledge and skills to develop their thinking and their work processes further. ‘It is a hub to connect, learn, create and grow – a place for creative and sustainable social change’ (quote from Fábrica de Sabão, The Story, copyright 2016 Fábrica de Sabão).

Find more information at


Recycling everyday trash materials they produce items to sell, such as, bags made out of plastic. With this in mind, our year 4 students are asked to bring in any of the following items for us to take a collection of recyclables to the education centre for their use.


  • Aluminium cans
  • Plastic bags
  • Plastic water bottles


What to bring

·      A water bottle

·      A snack for morning break

·      A healthy packed lunch

·      A hat

·      Sensible walking shoes

·      A packet of tissues

If you have any questions please contact your child’s homeroom teacher.

How the world works

How The World Works:

Central IdeaPeople apply their understanding of scientific principles to innovate and create.

(how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.)

Key concepts: FORM (What is it like?), FUNCTION (How does it work?), REFLECTION (How do we know?)

Related concepts: Work, Friction, Innovation (SCIENCE).

Lines of inquiry:

  • How forces affect motion.
  • Ways to make work easier.
  • How the design cycle is used to innovate and create.

The approaches to learning/skills the students will develop during this unit are:

  • Thinking skills: acquisition of knowledge, comprehension and synthesis.

Learner profile attributes:

  • Risk-taker
  • Thinker


  • Creativity
  • Commitment

Transdisciplinary connections:


  • observe carefully in order to gather data
  • use a variety of instruments and tools to measure data
  • use scientific vocabulary to explain their observations and experiences
  • plan and carry out systematic investigations, manipulating variables as necessary
  • make and test predictions
  • interpret and evaluate data gathered in order to draw conclusions
  • consider scientific models and applications of these models (including their limitations)


Students will be learning:

  • Different ways to use measurement e.g. length, area, perimeter.
  • Using measures of time to assist with problem solving.



  • Use increasingly accurate grammatical constructs ( PH 3).
  • Proofreading their own writing and making some corrections and improvements (PH 3).
  • Use feedback from teachers and other students to improve their writing (PH 3).


  • Use a range of strategies to self-monitor and self-correct, for example meaning, context, rereading, reading-on, cross-checking one cue source against another (PH 3)

Viewing and Presenting:

  • Observe and discuss visual presentations; Make suggestions about why they have been created and what the creator has been aiming to achieve (PH 3).

Listening and Speaking:

  • Listen attentively and speak appropriately in small and large group interactions. (PH 3)
  • Listen for a specific purpose in a variety of situations (PH 4)
  • Follow multi-step directions (PH 3)