Stem Clubs Activities
20th October 2011
Redmoor High School took part in the Ignition sponsored Come Alive With Science Project during National Science and Engineering Week 2011. Working alongside 2 STEM ambassadors, over 80 pupils from years 7,8 and 9 put together a dramatic performance of how the brain communicates with the eye and the ear. It was entitled ‘Can you see what I Hear: My body’s Social Network’. The performance was based on a popular social network site – ours was called ‘FaceBod’. The pupils researched the function of the eye,ear and brain, wrote scripts, designed props, designed t-shirts, rehearsed endlessly and performed to several local primary schools.
As part of this activity a small group then took their project to the East Midlands Big Bang. Because we couldn’t take all 80 pupils, the group made a scale model of the show – using jelly babies! – put together a fabulous display and were thrilled when they were voted Best Stem Club Project 2011. This really was a fun project to be involved and the pupils learnt an awful lot along the way.
20th October 2011
About four years ago we saw a Greenpower 24 race at Rockingham and made enquiries about it. As Redmoor is a small school (400+ pupils) we did not have the resources to build a car from scratch so when Greenpower started selling a rolling chassis we bought one, which got us started.
The basic aim of the Greenpower 24 competition is to build a car which can travel the furthest distance in four hours with each car using the same type of motor and batteries. The rolling chassis we bought has fully adjustable steering and suspension geometry which is excellent for showing how a real car works. As economy and speed were going to be the vital for success, once the suspension had been set up we turned our attention to the aeorodynamics.
We started by looking at how aerodynamics work especially at the speeds we would be travelling at. Next small groups of pupils built 10th scale models which we tested in our home made windtunnel. From this we merged the back of one design with the front of another to give us what we thought would be the best shape.
After making a basic shape we were fortunate to be invited to MIRA to see their windtunnel and get more advice on aerodynamics. On our return we made some subtle changes, which was easier due to our papier-maché construction, and we had many more ideas.
In April 2010 we entered our first race and came 16th out of 30. On the July 2nd we competed in our regional race where we came 11th out of 36 and then were invited to compete in the National final, coming 42nd out of 80.
During 2011, the club continued to make subtle changes to the design of the car and again competed in the Regional finals fo the Greenpower challenge.
The engineering club took their car and project to the Hinckley Science Festival in June 2011 and encouraged KS2 pupils to think about engineering, allowing youngsters to be photographed in the racing car! They were very lucky to win the award for the best science project with an energy-related theme – well done team!
This year, the decision has been made to attempt to construct our own car from scratch – interesting and challenging times ahead!
19th October 2011
Brief Outline for STEM club:
Within Thornleigh we are creating a range of activities that are designed to build upon the Science / Technology / Engineering theme within our new STEM Club.
The funding for activates has come from Castle Brook High School which is a Specialist Technology College in Bury.
Initial Project: 4 Weeks
Pupils will generate a practical piece of Electrical circuitry which will consist of an electronic LDR circuit, designed around solar panels hence it will charge up during the day and discharges during the night.
Project 2 : 1st July
The students are then to work with year six students in constructing various structures and testing them to destruction.
Project 3: Photo Chromic Painting
Taking technology in to various areas within the school we are setting up an area where students can develop their Creative and Artistic abilities whilst working with Smart technology materials, in particular Phosphorescent UV Reactive Paint
Here is the inspiration link
Bloom’s Taxonomy: When looking at the Taxonomy the Higher Order Thinking happens in Creating. Hence the emphasis of developing the STEM club to be a Higher Order Thinking Club .
19th October 2011
Takes the students to the next level. They are to re use Smart materials and this time they are to produce Thermo Chromic Designs. These Designs will change according to the temperature of the rooms. Through the project they will gain an understanding of polymers and the monomer forms then they will develop their understanding of the smart materials in order to Create their final design.
13th October 2011
We used the The Institute of Food Research’s idea of making a jelly and seeing who could make the tallest one.
It is REALLY difficult to make a jelly more than 10cm tall due to the weak gel strength. To make it taller you need to increase the gel strength and/or give the jelly structure using edible materials such as fruit, sponges or pasta.
Pupils brought in their own food and tried out a variety of different designs.
They are currently setting in the fridge. Lets see what happens next week when we release them from their moulds.
The jelly must be made from Hartley’s tablet jelly and made up following the directions on the pack
The finished jelly must be free-standing.
Height will be measured 10 minutes after unmoulding
Everything used in construction must be edible and you should be prepared to eat any part of it!
No frozen jellies.
GOOD LUCK! :)
11th October 2011
Developing understanding and relationship between Technology and Engineering.
The aim of the project is to start small creating very simplistic gravity racers moving through several varying prototype stages and eventually leading to a downhill/gravity racer that can be tested and steered by the members of the group.
An opportunity to enhance students knowledge and practical skills that cannot always be delivered through the Design and Technology curriculum.
Students given the opportunity to use the metal lathe, milling machine and welding equipment to crete aspects of the chassis.
The use of new technologies to develop 3D models on our rapid prototyping machine and for this to be used students are to be given the opportunity to use a range of CAD software and equipment. 2D Design, ProDesktop and SolidWorks
11th October 2011
Using scrap materials found around the Design and Technology workshops to create innovative and creative Jewellery.
An opportunity for students whom are less interested in Engineering and Science to come and develop their material knowledge and creativity skills.
07th October 2011
This week we ventured into drama to use the facilities in the drama studio. We were looking into constellations and how we can see them in our night sky. We were very lucky to have two STEM ambassadors in school to talk to us about their knowledge of astronomy and astrophysics. One ambassador was from UCLAN called Anne Sansom and the other was Claire Burke who is an ex-pupil from Priory and is now studying a PHD in astrophysics at JMU. They showed two very detailed and eye opening power points about our universe. Our challenge is to now make our own constellations and see if we can see Jupiter in the night sky this week. If you have a pair of binoculars why don’t you see if you can see Jupiter this week – it is the big red spot right about your head.
06th October 2011
Inspired by the Congolese band, Staff Benda Bilili, pupils constructed their own Satonge instruments in a single one-hour lesson. The project acted as a good introduction to ethos of the Make Some Noise club.
Using willow witheys (flexible but rigid twigs), a tin can, some masking tape and a high guitar string (high E, B or G), pupils manufactured then decorated the instruments.
The following lesson, pupils used microphones to put the satonges through guitar amplifiers and an array of guitar effects pedals. The output was subsequently recorded in the school’s recording studio.
Staff Benda Bilili playing with satonges – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXzoP_Kb1d8
05th October 2011
We investigated bridge structures this week. We compared planks to box girders and made our bridges from Milky Bars. We widened our knowledge of welding and learnt how make an effective fillet weld.
As well as the box girder we explored some other engineering structures and some of our own designs.
We had lots of fun eating our masterpieces afterwards.
The pupils now feel that they are fatter but wiser pupils. :)
03rd October 2011
Making their own infer-red controlled tanks
This project had the pupils building their own tanks from kits, these tanks were controlled via an infer-red beam sent from a hand held controller, the pupils had to construct these tanks from the instructions as well as the controllers. these tanks had two motors which each controlled one set of wheels.
Each controller had a selector switch so more than one tank could be operated at the same time, also each tank was fitted with firing mechanism which when activated could diable the other tank by firing an infer-red beam.
This project was enjoyed by all especially the battle between the tanks at the end.
02nd October 2011
In week 3 of Science club, we continued with the Mclaren Challenge, only this time, it was all about the buildings. It was very interesting to see all the varying designs ccome to life, with some groups sticking to their designs and others changing it as they went along. Several different tactics were tested to see if they would help the car reach 10 metres. Some worked, others did not. At the moment the key to success appears to be easily spinning axels, as this allows for a lot of rolling. This means that even if there is not much power it will still roll quite far. It will be exciting to see how the build finish next week.
The Mclaren Challenge, Part 3, Building and explaining!