On Monday, Ruth and David, engineers who work for COSTAIN 4D, based in Woolston, Southampton, came in to lead a three-hour session based upon our STEM themed week of ‘bridges’.
Our Year 7 most able students experienced a bespoke two hour-long session. After an initial introduction, the students were divided into 5 groups, and given 80 minutes to design and build the strongest bridge. The limiting constraints they had to work to were:
1. Span a minimum gap of 60cm
2. Use only the given resources
3. The winning bridge will hold the greatest mass of chocolate bars before it collapses!
Our students started off very enthusiastically. After our guests had toured the groups and discussed real-life examples and scenarios of bridges and bridge-building, our students tweaked their original designs, so meaning their new designs could incorporate as many ‘new’ ideas as possible (and hopefully be the strongest bridge!).
Everyone then toured the lab, watching our guests test the bridges to destruction with 50g bars of chocolate. Some bridges were so strong that we ran out of chocolate masses so had to use the science masses!
The winning bridge designers were Team 1 with a massive 3.2kg of chocolate supported before the bridge collapsed! This even beat the bridge that our guests built, which only held 2.6kg of chocolate!
The members of our Year 3 and Year 4 Science Club, plus some of our more able Year 4 students, were invited to also meet our guests. The students were tasked with supporting 5 chocolate sweets above the table, using only a sheet of paper and two cups. After some initial thinking time, the students soon began building their designs, with everyone managing to complete the task before the time was up – well done all!
We are very grateful to Ruth and David for giving up their time and coming in and being so enthusiastic in supporting our STEM Project.
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