STEM Boats October 2018
We enter a run of three busy pupil days here at I2L with three fabulous schools, Whale Hill, Handale and William Cassidi attempting the STEM boats challenge. As usual the aim of the day is to build a boat with a sail that will race down our drainpipe canals. However with a bit of direct input each design decision needs to have been made through rigorous testing. We started the first session with a whole group exploration of using the Post-It method for defining variables in a test situation. This allows the pupils to understand what needs to be controlled, what changed and what measured. After a quick break the pupils have then been asked to apply this systematic way of working to create the best sail boat that they can – with evidence! The pictures below show the level of engagement that this has created. A strong teamwork ethos runs through the day and it is lovely to see all of the pupils getting involved.
I’d also like to add a special mention to some STEM ambassadors that are helping out today. Hillsview Academy have created the role (and in other areas of the curriculum too) and the successful ambassadors have had to submit a letter of application followed by a rigorous interview by SLT. They represent the school on various projects and at events. I can categorically recommend them to anyone who would love some brilliant role models from one of our local secondary schools to come and work with you, whether that is in a primary school or the wider community. A teacher from one of the attending schools today was incredibly complementary about the way that the older students had support her class. When we hear that young people from schools don’t have effective communication skills, engagement in activity or problem solving skills I would invite you to come and see this lot in action. I’d employ them tomorrow!
And congratulations to our winning team who made the ‘Speedy Moose’. Not only were they fastest but they took the time to show other iterations of their design and explain the testing that they had done to ensure they had the best boat available in the time scale. I couldn’t have plan ned it better! The strongest scientific approach probably produced the winner. Real engineers of the future I reckon.