This British Science Week, children up and down the country will be exploring the wonders of science, with the theme being 'connections'.
Mrs Sullivan explained “Connections are all around us, but these days, most of us take this fundamental part of life for granted. Whether it be the delicate balance between bacteria, animals and plants in an ecosystem or the technological communications and transport links in human civilizations across the globe.”
“This year, I wanted the children to test their engineering skills, so I set them challenges to design and build things. Children have a natural passion and creativity for construction which is why toys like Lego and games such as Minecraft are so popular,” she told us.
The first challenge was to explore the connections between weights and forces. The children had to explore how five sheets of paper could be folded, rolled or cut to make the strongest bridge to span a 20cm a gap. Small weights (10g and 100g masses - to represent people and vehicles) were added one by one in an exciting and nail-biting investigation.
The second challenge was all about communication over distance. The children had to construct a simple circuit with a bulb and push switch, which they could use to send messages in Morse code to the rest of their group who were stranded across the hall on another island! Mrs Sullivan commented “This activity really tested the children's collaborative skills, as well their personal communication skills and patience!” “To start with a number of the children were quite frustrated with the slow speed of communication, and the amount of work required to code and decode one letter at a time. But with perseverance and determination, pushed on by a little bit of friendly competition with neighbouring islanders, they all managed to successfully communicate some messages.”
Mrs Sullivan summarised the event by saying, “all the children were engaged with the activities working really well with each other to solve the challenges. The competitive element in each task added a bit of additional excitement and although some groups had more success than others, all the children left with a sense of accomplishment in what they had created and achieved.”