Year 5 travelled to St Ambrose today to take part in a STEM Scientific-Engineering Challenge. The children got the chance to put their critical thinking, resilience, perseverance, questioning techniques, problem solving and collaboration to the test today.
After a brief tour around the school we were taken to the lab by Mr McDonagh who itroduced us to a variety of civil, building and industrial engineers who had given up their time to come and help the children today. They were brilliant and talked and asked the children questions which were really thought provoking and challenging.
The class was then split into two groups to tackle the challenges – one was Building a Bridge that could sustain the weight – luckily we had Chris Thomas – who has worked in the industry for 45 years and was a real specialist in bridges. He explained how the different types of bridges are built and how they hold weights and span distances. The children then set off – hard hats, hi-vis jackets and gloves on. They had to use their skills to build the bridge – i am happy to say we lost no one to the depths below as their bridges were constructed properly.
The second activity was the Tetrahedron building. Using sticks and elastic bands the children constructed sets of Tetrahedrons which they then grouped together in 4’s to make even bigger ones. The final groups of 4 were then lashed together to make one large shape that we could all fit inside. The boys all complained that the girls were better at this challenge because, ‘they have to put bunches and plaits in their hair so know how to use bands!’ I just think they were a bit upset that the girls were amazingly quick at working this one out!
We travelled by bus to and from the school and the behaviour of the children was brilliant. A credit to the school!