Creative constructions produced by Perse Prep pupils in Engineering Activity Day
27 Feb 2020
From creating gliding cars to building straw towers, Perse Prep pupils put their thinking caps on for an exciting Engineering House Activity Day.
Children across the school worked in House families to design, construct and test a series of fun projects to help them understand engineering and how it plays a part in the world around us.
Pupils began with the task of building a gliding car with paper wings that could smoothly glide off a table, land on the floor and continue rolling for at least three feet. Teams tried to set a record for the longest glide and had to consider the shape and size of the wings and tail they would use in their design, as they learned about the concepts of weight, lift and drag in flight engineering.
Creating the grasshopper with the biggest leap – both in height and sideways distance – was the next challenge. Using just balsa wood, duct tape, pipe cleaners and rubber bands for their projects, youngsters aimed to make them jump at least 60 centimetres upwards and 30 centimetres sideways as they discovered more about the world of biomechanics.
House families had to think about the safety of engineering projects when they were given the task of making re-entry capsules for a plastic egg ‘astronaut’. The aim was to keep the ‘astronaut’ intact on landing when launched from the highest level possible.
Constructing straw towers and testing how much weight they could bear provided another challenge as pupils were given an insight into structural engineering. They found that triangles hold their shape while rectangles collapse under weight as they gained an understanding of how trusses can create strength in structures.
Prep Head of Design & Technology Dan Wansell, who organised the event, said: “All the pupils had a very busy and rewarding time during Engineering House Activity Day. The purpose of the day was to develop the collaborative skills of the pupils and to promote the importance of building, testing, evaluating and re-designing – if needs be!
“The feedback was very positive. They really enjoyed the process of working in House families to design and build their pieces.”