Science Week 2013

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Final colur 2013 logo with themeNovember 10th-17th 2013

About Science Week

The aim of Science Week is to promote the relevance of science, technology, engineering and maths in our everyday lives and to demonstrate their importance to the future development of Irish society and to the economy.

Science Week is a Discover Science & Engineering (DSE) project. DSE initiatives are managed by Science Foundation Ireland on behalf of the Office of Science, Technology and Innovation at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

All the information you need about science week is available here on this link


Here in the hospital school we have been busy exploring science, experimenting, making and doing. From slime to circuits, bugs to boats that float, we’ve been busy.

Electric Circuits


Basic circuits using symbols.


Basic Circuits.




Open Switch-Circuit is broken so light will not work.



Closed switch-Circuit is closed so the electrons have a path to keep moving and the light will work.



In this open switch we can see that the circuit is broken and the light is not working.



When Peadar presses down on the touch switch, the circuit is complete and the light works


Conductors and Insulators

We tested material to see which were conductors and which were insulators.

Conductors allow the current to pass through them and complete the circuit.

Insulators don’t allow the current to pass through them and the circuit is no longer complete, the light doesn’t work.


Here are some of the things we tested.


Slime Experiment (polymers)








To begin our experiment made our predictions as to what would happen as we combined the various materials. Gallas had a theory that the experiment would not work without the glue being added to the mixture. When we mixed the materials without the glue we ended up with a very watery mixture. When all the materials were mixed together some gooey, sticky slime was formed.

The slime had an elastic quality to it. We learned that this is because it is composed of large molecules known as polymers. Other examples of polymers can be found in materials like plastic, wool and even in the rubber on the soles of your shoes.







Lava Lamp (Chemical Energy)

There are plenty of different types of energy. Food energy (We eat foot to give us the energy to move our bodies), heat or thermal energy (we use this energy to heat our homes.) , electric energy (we use electricity to light our homes and use a variety of electrical appliances), magnetic energy (there are magnets in a variety of appliances in our homes such as the TV and the telephone). We conducted an experiment using a type of energy called chemical energy. The materials we used for our experiment were oil, water, food coluring, salt, sugar, tea leaves and an effervescent tablet.

We discovered that oil is lighter than water. When we added oil to the water the oil floated on top. We added the food colouring to the oil and water mixture and it went down to the bottom layer and mixed with the water. We concluded that the colouring must be heavier than the water. We added salt to the water to make some lava. The salt reacted by making small bubbles. This happened as the salt is heavier than the water and drags some of the oil into the second layer as it sinks through. This creates bubbles of oxygen.

We thought of other materials that we could test to see if they were lighter or heavier than the oil or water. Our discoveries are recorded on the table below.

Sugar Heavier than oil   – The sugar sank through the layer of oil. It also created some bubbles.
 Tea Leaves Heavier than Oil – The tea leaves sank through the layer of oil but floated on top of the water. We concluded that they were heavier than oil but lighter than water.
 Foam  Lighter than oil and water – The foam floated on top of the oil and water.
Wooden bead  Lighter than water – The wooden bead floated on top of the oil and water.


Finally we made a lava lamp. We added the effervescent tablets to  oil and water and food colouring. They reacted with the materials and released a chemical chemical energy which caused the bubbles of carbon dioxide in the lava lamp to move up and down. You can view the results in the video below.



More information on actual lava lamps is on this video