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October 2012

Get your gloves on!

Posted by Danielle Cowell on 26 October 2012
Planting your bulbs - Powerpoint
Planting in Stanford in the Vale School.
Edina Trust - extra experiment flower bed.

Two thousand bulbs being planted in Scotland today! Good luck Scotland and please wrap up warm as the temperature is a chilly 3 or 4 degrees! Temperatures across the UK have fallen dramatically today making it feel very much like winter.

Welsh and English schools are finishing up for half term and all the schools are preparing for recording their 1st weather records on the 5th of November! 

Click here for info on keeping weather records

Click here to ensure fair test when planting your bulbs

Please take a look at these lovely pics sent in by Stanford in the Vale Primary School.

Many thanks

Professor Plant




A fair-test for forty five thousand fingers!

Posted by Danielle Cowell on 22 October 2012
Tiny crocuses about to be put in their pots at St Josephs.
Carefully measuring the soil.
Topping-up the pots with soil after adding the bulbs.
Super scientists at Stepaside!
» View full post to see all images

Four and a half thousand school scientists across England and Wales planted bulbs for a climate investigation being run by Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales.

Each pupil planted their bulbs and followed simple methodology to ensure a fair test. Before planting, they learned how to care for bulbs and completed adoption certificates as a promise to care for their bulbs.

This is just the beggining for this years participants who will be recording flowering times and weather conditions every week until the end of March.

I visited St Joseph's school in Penarth to see how they were getting along and was amazed by how excited and involved in the project they were. Mrs Dunstan has done a great job working with the class to create a great display about the project. On questioning, it was clear that the class knew they were helping with a larger experiment and what it was about.

I was delighted to hear a Yr.3 pupil question "Is it a fair-test if all Scottish schools are planting a week later?" It showed that she was really thinking about the logistics of this large scale study. I explained that the Scottish schools had to plant on another date because their holiday dates are quite different to those in England and Wales and that we would look at the Scottish data separately as a result.  After our discussion we went outside to do the planting - see my pictures.

Meanwhile in West Wales, Stepaside School were also busy planting. Here are pictures of the Yr.3 pupils involved this year.

If any other schools have any images they would like to share please send them to me.

Good luck with the planting this week in Scotland - I hope it stays dry!

Many Thanks

Professor Plant 



Solving crimes, exploring trees and using your mobile phone - what does this have to do with numeracy?

Posted by Ciara Hand on 16 October 2012
Investigating different ways of measuring tree height
Yes, it's okay to use your phones in this talk!
Was it you who committed the crime?
Making computer games

Teachers descended on the National Museum Cardiff last weekend to take part in workshops and talks aimed at engaging pupils with numeracy in a fun and creative way.

Prof Chris Budd, BathUniversity, and Rob Eastaway, Maths Inspiration, gave extremely interesting and lively talks covering maths in the modern world, including how google works, and ways of being creative with maths.

The workshops featured teachers programming their own computer games (Technocamps), becoming maths detectives to solve a crime (Techniquest), finding out how technology works (CardiffMetropolitanUniversity), exploring maths in nature (Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales), and discovering ideas for fun and stimulating games (TES Science).

This year’s conference is a partnership between The Association for Science Education Cymru and Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales. It has been running for the past 4 years and draws in teachers from Wales and England (and even Australia this year!).

Keep your eyes peeled for next year’s conference – we hope to see you then!

Thank you to everyone who made this year’s a success!

Craftivism at the Food Festival

Posted by Sian Lile-Pastore on 2 October 2012

Did you come to our food festival in September? I hope so as it was such a great event - look out for it next year if you didn't make it.

This summer the Craftivist Collective launched a jamming and sewing project which you can read all about right here and I thought that would fit in perfectly with the food festival, so that's what we did!

The idea is that you make some tomato jam (I am proud to say that I made some all by myself and it tasted good too) following a recipe from an amazing lady called Christine who lives in Africa. Then you embroider a message on a fabric jam lid - maybe something like 'if you don't grow, you don't change' or anything to do with food and global food issues. After you have embroidred your message, pop it on the top, secure it with ribbon and give your pretty jar of jam away! I think the giving it away is the most important part as you are sharing the message, you could give it to your MP or your local shop if you wanted, or just pass it along to friends and family, it all helps spread the word and provides an opportunity for talking about what you eat and where your food comes from.

The project is also linked in with Oxfam and their 'Grow' campaign, and we were lucky enough in St Fagans that Louise from Oxfam was able to come along and lend a hand - she also provided lots of leaflets for further information.

What do you think about the project? did you come to our drop in session? did you make the jam and did you pass your jam along to someone else? I'd love to know!

Summer art activities

Posted by Sian Lile-Pastore on 2 October 2012

How was your summer? it was pretty busy for me!

As usual we ran the art cart in Oriel 1 everyday throughout August and our focus this year was weaving. We mainly did paper plate weaving (or circular weaving) which proved to be really popular with all ages and looks really effective too - I am thinking of doing more of it for Halloween...but in black and orange of course.

Quite a few of the museum attendants helped run the art cart this year too and they also brought different ideas and skills along with them so that there was quite a variety of activities. Elen did some drop spinning with visitors and even showed them how to make their own drop spindle, and Elle showed everyone how to make amazing woven friendship bracelets using a circular piece of card.

In July Ian and I got together to plan and run a two day art activity in the Celtic Village. We decided to make Iron Age shields out of cardboard and to get the visiting children to decorate them with typical iron age patterns using stencils or their own designs.

The activity went really well and we were lucky that it fell on two beautiful sunny days (we were outside). It's definitely an activity we'll be running again

Come September and it was back to running sessions for visiting schools, I've written about my art session called 'Looking at Buildings' so won't go on about it again... just show you some pictures of wonderful drawings instead.

Then I took two weeks off work and went on holiday to San Francisco! and now I'm back and all inspired for more arts and crafts and workshops and everything! There are a few things coming up - the big draw this saturday and next (6+13 oct 2012), a couple of craftivist things (one this sunday 7th in gwdi hw which isn't directly linked with St Fagans, and one on the 20th of October as part of the Made in Roath festival whic is), and then it will be half term and time for Halloween!

phew, happy making!