This semester pre-service teachers from Curtin University are visiting Campbell Primary School, to mentor students in the Year 6 Science and STEM enrichment class. They are encouraging students to use their critical and creative thinking skills to plan and create a number of innovative artefacts. Students are enjoying the challenge and are demonstrating resilience as they redesign and improve their projects. After creating wiggle-bots, students had a wiggle-bot play-off to test the endurance of each of their wiggle-bots. There was also healthy competition between students as they used their engineering skills to create ‘elastic band powered cars’. A race between the cars ensued with some cars having to return to the pits for ‘repairs’. Following this task, students were asked to build a bee hotel for Australian native bees. Each group produced wonderful ‘bee spaces’ which they decided to combine on completion, for use on a student’s farm. This week the challenge was to plan and develop a contraption, using the materials provided, to pick up varying weights of drink bottles and transfer them one from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’, while standing in a fixed zone. The students impressed their tutors by using a number of different strategies and devices to achieve this. Examples included a controlled lasso/loop technique, scissor arms and tong/clasp configurations. Next week’s challenge is to construct a ‘stomp rocket’ – to launch a foam missile ‘hundreds’ of meters into the air!
Pamela Lumsden – Science
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