Week 3: Experiments and Gadgets

Science, Technology and Invention

(Year 6-8)

Kia ora and welcome to the third week of the Summer Learning Journey! This week we are going to be learning about people who changed the world through science, technology and invention. The people included in this programme are only a small number of the many exceptional, influential and inspirational scientists, technologists, and inventors in the world. On Day 5 you will get the chance to choose someone you are interested in and share what you learn about them on your blog.

Get ready to learn about some very clever people!

DAY 1: Driving Digital Innovation

Activity 1: The World Wide Web [4 points]

You may not have heard of Tim Berners-Lee but this man completely changed the world for us when he invented the World Wide Web (otherwise known as the ‘www’). All of the information on the internet is stored and accessed on the web.

TimBL, as he is known, also created the first ever website. We all spend a lot of time looking at websites, don’t we? One of my favourite websites is the Te Ara site. I use it when I am creating lessons for students or working on assignments for school. Are there websites that are particularly helpful for your learning?

For this activity please take screenshots of four different websites that you find helpful for your learning. They can be websites that you use in class or websites that you use on your own at home. Present the screenshots as a poster or put them into a presentation.

On your blog, share your poster or presentation of your favourite learning websites.

*Remember to attribute any images that you borrow from the internet or from other people.

Activity 2: Influencers [4 points]

YouTube is a video sharing website, where people can watch, create, share and comment on videos (a bit like when you Learn, Create and Share at school). YouTube was created in 2005 by three men - Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim who later sold it to Google for $1.65 billion dollars!

Did you know that anyone can have their own YouTube channel? People who create videos and post them on YouTube are called ‘YouTubers’. Youtubers post videos on a huge range of topics from music to make-up, fitness to cooking, etc.

Most YouTubers create their own Youtube channel. People can subscribe to their channels and follow their videos. Do you watch or subscribe to any YouTube channels? If so, who are your favourite YouTubers? In New Zealand, there are many Youtubers, including Kiwi beauty YouTuber Miria Flavell and guitar guru, Nat Pua.

For this activity please imagine that you had the chance to create your own YouTube channel. What would it be about? What kinds of videos would you create and post?

On your blog, write a description of the YouTube channel you would like to create.

*Remember to attribute any images that you borrow from the internet or from other people.

*Please check out the Eye-Catching Blog Posts page for ideas!

Activity 3: Apple vs Microsoft [6 points]

Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are two big names in the field of digital technology. Bill Gates is the founder of Microsoft while Steve Jobs was a co-founder of Apple. Both men are very creative and inventive. In fact, Steve Jobs invented the Apple computer, iPod, iPhone, and iPad. Sadly, he passed away in 2011.

Bill Gates, on the other hand, invented Microsoft software, like Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office. He is now one of the richest people in the world, and with his wife, Melinda, has created a charity called The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Both men worked in the same field (digital technology) and were seen as competitors or rivals. They are not the only rivals in the world. In fact, some of the most famous rivalries occur between sports teams. One example is the rivalry between the All Blacks and the Wallabies rugby teams.

For this activity we would like you to use your best researching skills to find three more examples of common rivalries. They can be in the sports world or not - it’s totally up to you!

On your blog, describe the three rivalries that you have found. Who is involved? To gain the full 6 points for this activity, please provide a picture for each rivalry. The picture should represent the rivalry.

*Remember to attribute any images that you borrow from the internet or from other people.

*Please check out the Eye-Catching Blog Posts page for ideas!

DAY 2: Cracking the Code

Activity 1: Through Careful Observation [4 points]

There are many incredible people in history who have changed the world. Some have changed what we know about the world and about how it works. We often call these people ‘scientists’ or ‘theorists.’ Famous scientists include Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Katherine Freese, Maria Goeppert Mayer and Sau Lan Wu.

Each of these scientists came up with a new theory (idea) about how things work. Much of what they discovered came from observing (watching) things closely.

For this activity, we would like you to select one of the pictures below and to study or observe it closely. What do you see?

On your blog, describe the painting in detail. What do you see when you look at it? Please give us as much detail as you can!

Activity 2: Overcoming Adversity [4 points]

Stephen Hawking (1942-2018) was an English scientist who was interested in studying the origin (beginning) of the universe. When he was just 21 years old, he was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease and, over time, he lost the ability to walk and talk. He needed to use a wheelchair to move around and a computer to help him to talk. The computer made his voice sound a bit funny but, most importantly, it meant he could still communicate with people.

Despite his diagnosis, Stephen Hawking lived a long and very productive life. He showed great determination and perseverance because he didn’t let his physical challenges stop him. He didn’t quit. Instead, he ‘overcame the odds’ and achieved a huge amount in his life.

For this activity, we would like to hear about a time when you, or someone you know, experienced a challenge and overcame it.

On your blog, recount a time when you or someone you know experienced a challenge and overcame it.

I have a good friend who moved to NZ three years ago as a refugee from Myanmar. She had been living in Thailand for many years as it was not safe for her to live in Myanmar. When she moved to NZ she couldn’t speak English. Now, she speaks English really well and she had just passed her driver’s licence! I’m so proud of her!

Activity 3: Hidden Figures [6 points]

Ada Lovelace, born in 1815, is considered to be the ‘first computer programmer’, even though computers had not yet been invented. She was called a computer programmer because she worked out a series of algorithms (instructions) that a machine could use to compute (calculate) difficult maths questions.

Katherine Johnson was another brilliant mathematician who worked with NASA - the North American Space Association. NASA was responsible for sending rockets and people into space. It was Katherine’s job to check all of the calculations that the engineers and astronauts used when designing the spacecraft and flying them into space. In 2016, a movie was made about Katherine Johnson and the other women who worked at NASA during this time. It is called ‘Hidden Figures.’ In the movie, the women had to learn how to do basic coding when NASA started using computers.

Have you ever tried coding?

For this activity we would like you to give coding a try. Click on the link for the website: code.org. If you try an activity and it is too easy, try a harder level!

On your blog, post a screenshot of your completed shape. Underneath the shape tell us what you thought of the coding app. Is it good? Why/why not?

DAY 3: Inventive Inventors

Activity 1: Nanogirl [4 points]

Michelle Dickinson, AKA “Nanogirl”, is a nanotechnologist. That is an engineer or scientist who works with very small items called “molecules.” Michelle is famous for creating cool shows about science which she performs in schools around New Zealand. When she isn’t performing, she is working as a scientist in her own lab in Auckland. Over the years she has written two books and won many awards including the New Zealand Women of Influence in Innovation and Science Award and The New Zealand Order of Merit for her innovative work.

Like Michelle, many people in New Zealand like to create nano-sized (tiny) things. Some people even like to build tiny houses.

For this activity, please visit the ‘Build Tiny New Zealand’ website and scroll to the bottom of the page where you will find a series of Video Tours of tiny houses. Watch any three videos on the site.

On your blog, tell us whether, or not, you would like to live in a tiny house one day. Please be sure to tell us why you feel the way that you do.

*Remember to attribute any images that you borrow from the internet or from other people.

*Please check out the Eye-Catching Blog Posts page for ideas!

Activity 2: Printing Prosthetics [4 points]

In 1983 a man named Chuck Hull invented the first 3D printer. A 3D printer follows a design that has been created on a computer. The printer simply ‘prints out’ the design in layers, often using a material like plastic.

3D printing has changed the way we are designing and manufacturing (creating) all sorts of things. It is possible to 3D print parts for machines, buildings and even humans!

If you have ever broken an arm and needed a plaster cast you will know that they’re not much fun to wear - especially in summer! Here in New Zealand, a man named Jake Evill has designed a lighter 3D printed plaster cast that is strong, recyclable, waterproof, and ventilated (let’s air in). Check out his design here.

For this activity, we would like you to learn more about 3D printed prosthetics (artificial body parts, like hands or arms). Please watch this video about 3D printed prosthetics (artificial body parts, like hands or arms).

On your blog, tell your readers:

  1. One thing that you learned from watching this video

  2. One thing that surprised you when watching this video

*Please check out the Eye-Catching Blog Posts page for ideas!

Activity 3: Need for Speed [6 points]

We have had many inventors here in New Zealand who have created things that have changed the world. Two of these inventors were Bill Hamilton (1899-1978) and John Britten (1950-1995).

Bill Hamilton grew up on a farm in the South Island of New Zealand. One of his first inventions was a tow rope to pull skiers up a ski field. His most famous invention, however, is the development of the modern jet boat engine. It allows boats, like the Huka Falls Jet, to travel at lightning speed along rivers. Bill Hamilton invented the jet boat to solve a problem.

John Britten, on the other hand, loved to rebuild vehicles, including motorbikes. He set up the Britten Motorcycle Company from his garage in Christchurch, New Zealand. One of his bikes, the V1000, won a number of international races and set a world speed record for going 304km per hour! Wow! Now that is fast…!

Speaking of fast, for this activity we would like you to design your own fast vehicle. It can be anything! Please draw your super-fast vehicle on paper or use an app to help you. If it was me, I would make my super-fast vehicle something that I could use to get to school and home again each day!

On your blog, post a picture of your speedy vehicle along with a written description of how it works. Tell your readers what your vehicle is made of, any special features, how fast it goes, and who might use your vehicle.

*Please check out the Eye-Catching Blog Posts page for ideas!

DAY 4: Hauora

Activity 1: Medical Mavericks [4 points]

Over the years, many important discoveries have been made by clever people looking to help others. Two of these are women - Florence Nightingale and Marie Curie whose work has been widely recognised and appreciated. Both women lived extraordinary lives.

Florence Nightingale was born in 1820 in England. When she grew up, she trained to be a nurse and, as an adult, was sent to Turkey during the Crimean War to look after wounded soldiers. When she arrived, the hospitals were very dirty so she spent money to clean them up and to provide the soldiers with quality care. She saved many lives.

Marie Curie was born in Poland in 1867. Eventually, she moved to France to go to university. While there, she learned a lot about physics, chemistry and maths. She spent her career conducting experiments that led to the discovery of chemical elements. She was also the first person to use an x-ray machine to look at the human body. She earned two Nobel Prizes for her work.

Nobel Prizes are given out every year to people who have done something extraordinary in six specific fields of study - Medicine, Physics, Chemistry, Literature, Peace, and Economics.

For this activity, please follow this link to view the list of Nobel Prize winners, choose one, read about them and then share your learning on your blog.

On your blog, tell your readers who you chose and then tell us about them in five to ten sentences. Who were they? What did they do that was so special? Feel free to include a picture of your chosen Nobel Prize winner on your blog.

*Remember to attribute any images that you borrow from the internet or from other people.

*Please check out the Eye-Catching Blog Posts page for ideas!

Activity 2: iMoko [4 points]

Dr Lance O’Sullivan is a Māori doctor who lives in Kaitaia, Northland. He has committed his life to improving the health and well-being of both his patients and people in the local community. In 2014 he was named New Zealander of the Year.

Together, Lance and his wife, Tracy, have started some very cool projects in New Zealand including affordable clinics, the Kāinga Ora (healthy homes) initiative and the MOKO Foundation. The MOKO Foundation provides healthcare for students in school-based clinics. He has also started iMOKO, a digital initiative (programme) whereby people living in communities without doctors, can take photos of health issues and send them to doctors in Kaitaia. The doctors look at the photos, provide advice and can send a script to the local pharmacy so that the patient can get medicine. This programme is improving the health and well-being of people living in rural Northland.

For this activity please think about your own health and well-being (hauora). What do you, or those in your family, do to stay healthy?

On your blog, share five things that you do to stay healthy and strong.

I try to eat lots of fruit and vegetables and get plenty of sleep each night.

Activity 3: Putting Our Heads Together [6 points]

Health is a complex and complicated topic. Most people believe that there are many dimensions (areas) of health - physical health, social health, mental health, emotional health, etc. Mental health is an area that is not often discussed. It is basically the way we think and feel about ourselves and the world around us. Sometimes our mental health can be affected by things that have happened in our lives, or by changes in our brains that we cannot control.

Here in New Zealand, people like Mike King and John Kirwan have made the choice to speak publicly about the mental health challenges that they face. Overseas, people like The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, have joined the discussion about mental health and, like John and Mike, started a foundation to support people struggling with mental health challenges.

John Kirwan started the John Kirwan Foundation in 2018. Mike King founded The Key to Life Foundation, the I Am Hope and the Gumboot Friday campaigns while the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge started the Heads Together foundation in 2017. In each case, these foundations serve an important role in the community.

For this activity, we would like you to imagine that John Kirwan, Mike King and/or the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge called you up and asked you to design a new poster for their organisation. You could use Google Draw to help design your poster.

On your blog, post a final copy of your poster and include a description of the poster. What is on the poster? Why did you include the pictures or words that you did? The more that you can tell us about your design, the better!

*Remember to attribute any images that you borrow from the internet or from other people.

DAY 5: Creativity +

Activity 1: Ministry of Inspiration [4 points]

So you might have heard of the Ministry of Education or the Ministry of Health, right? They are groups of people who give advice to the government. But have you heard of the Ministry of Inspiration? It sounds like fun, doesn’t it?! Well, this is a real organisation based in Nelson, New Zealand. Their aim is to get kids thinking creatively in the areas of science, technology, engineering, arts, maths and society (STEAMS).

The Ministry of Inspiration hosts many cool activities and events, including an Aquabot competition. Aquabots are underwater robots. Have you ever heard of them?

For this activity please watch this video about the Pasifika Aquabots competition that was held in Nelson. The students had to navigate their Aquabots around a swimming pool, collecting things and visiting different ‘islands.’

On your blog, tell us whether you would like to join an Underwater Robotics team at your school. Why or why not?

*Please check out the Eye-Catching Blog Posts page for ideas!

Activity 2: Caine’s Arcade [4 points]

Caine Monroy is a 17 year old boy who lives in Los Angeles (L.A.), California. When he was younger, he spent his summer holidays at his dad’s work - an auto parts store in downtown L.A. While his dad was working, he decided to build himself something that he had always wanted - an arcade! He built an arcade all by himself out of cardboard boxes and things that he found lying around the shop.

One day a man came into the store to buy a handle for his car and he met Caine. Caine showed him what he had made and the man was so impressed with the arcade game that he made a movie about Caine and invited all the people in L.A. to come and play the games in Caine’s Arcade!

For this activity we would like to know about your favourite game. It can be a board game, a card game, a game that you play outside with friends (e.g., rugby) or a quiet game that you play by yourself.

On your blog, tell us about your favourite game. What is it called? How do you play it?

*Remember to attribute any images that you borrow from the internet or from other people.

*Please check out the Eye-Catching Blog Posts page for ideas!

Activity 3: Choose your own

You have now made it to the end of Week 3 and have earned the right to choose your very own scientist, technologist, or inventor who you think has changed the world. There are no right or wrong choices for this activity, so find someone who interests you and tell us about them on your blog. It could be someone from your family, church or community or someone famous that you admire.

Here are some starting points in case you get stuck:

Taitusi Taufa

A J Hackett

Mana Vautier

Madame C. J. Walker

Te Rangi Hīroa

Mae Jemison

For this activity, choose one person and read all about them.

On your blog, provide us with:

  1. The name of the person

  2. A description of the work they do/have done

  3. An explanation of how they/their work has had an impact on the lives of others

*Remember to attribute any images that you borrow from the internet or from other people.

*Please check out the Eye-Catching Blog Posts page for ideas!