We recently completed a STEAM project to reduce erosion and weathering of sand dunes on Gold Coast beaches. We were given a bucket with half sand and half water to act as Gold Coast beaches. The materials we were given were paddle pop sticks, mesh fruit bags and some grass, rocks and twigs to act as vegetation. Before we could build and test our design we had to research, brainstorm and plan our design.
In our group we made fences with paddle pop sticks and fruit bags to stop animals and humans from walking wherever they wanted on the beach. This is known as reducing biological weathering. Then we made a sand bag to put at the front of the beach as a short-term solution to assist the sand dunes to build back up after large amounts of physical weathering. For a long-term solution, and to make the best use of our sand bag idea, we decided we would plant beach grass like Spinifex inside the sand bags so over time the grass would grow and hold the sand together.
To test our designs and gather some data on our results we were given a little fan to act as wind and we had to tip the bucket up a little bit to act as waves (also known as physical weathering). We were also given a watering can full of water to act as rain.
From our results we can conclude that our design was very successful. We didn’t have much erosion caused from all the rain, waves and wind because we made sure we had a lot of vegetation and structures were built to reduce erosion.
This term we have also been busy acting as STEAM town planners. Our task was to design and build a bird’s-eye view model town. Our town had to have roads that allowed the residents to travel to different grid references. We used some of our digital and design technology skills as we built roads and pathways for two Ozobots to drive through our town.
We had to use nets of 3D shapes to make buildings. We could pick the area and perimeter of some of our buildings, but others had some strict rules we had to follow to successfully complete the challenge. We had to follow coordinates to make buildings and a route for our Ozobots.
Seeret’s group had problems because we didn’t have enough space for all the coordinates and the buildings our group wanted to build. We decided to add additional space to our town, so the buildings were not so close together. Hamish engineered a garage with a door that opened so the Ozobot could park in the garage when it wasn’t driving around.
A lot of us had trouble with nets because our teachers only gave us three nets, then we had to create our own nets. Making our own nets meant we could improve our maths and arts skills, but it really was a challenge. Lily figured out the best way to make a new net was to create one then cut it out and trace around it to easily make another net. Our groups all worked very well together, we all had lots of fun and enjoyed the challenge. Everyone would love to do it again.
Year 4 Teachers
Amanda Wallis, Caitlin Sterry, Samantha Middleton & Dana Anders