Scrapheap Challenge March 2018
Well even the attempt to snow again didn’t stop the brilliant young minds from Brambles, Caedmon and Dormanstown coming to take on this year’s Scrapheap Challenge. I must admit there were a few bemused looks as the video for the challenge ended and children and teachers alike were puzzled how to respond. We have children from Y1 here today so the idea of sustainable energy is a long way from their experience….or is it? I don’t think it is. In schools we talk about turning off lights, not leaving iPads on for the batteries to run down and so on. They also see solar panels and wind turbines day in and day out….focussing this challenge on things that they see most days but perhaps never question makes them do just that.: question. What does that do? How does it work? I had no worries because we have had school groups from the youngest in primary all the way to Y9 attempt this challenge so far and I have never yet met a group that has not come up with some workable ideas.
And so it has proved, with a few prompts the children have come up with some great ideas.
As always the focus though is not the science, it is the teamwork, the problem solving and the creativity. We are very fortunate to have some support today from Principal Scientist Dr Ruth Poultney from Tees Valley based MPI. I picked on her at the beginning to introduce herself to the children and it was great that she picked up on the teamwork and problem solving themes that I had already outlined. We know from experience and the research that meeting authentic people form the world of work, and a great female role model – a female scientist no less! – has a great impact on the children’s development of cultural capital. It brings them closer mentally to being part of that world.
Anyway, enough words! Have a look at how they are getting on and tune in live from about 2.10pm to see their presentations: