How can we encourage young people to think like scientists and engineers?
The Smallpiece Trust aims to inspire young people to think and behave like scientists and engineers. With their new, powered-glider think-kit, find out below how you can get more young people involved in real design-and-make projects.
Some of the most exciting projects I am involved with in school, included competitions, school assemblies and extracurricular activities that supported the curriculum and pupils’ interests. Occasionally, these events led to national recognition and below is something I would advocate your school is involved in.
The Smallpiece Trust offers schools a ‘think kit’ – a design-and-make project to help support your school’s science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) clubs. As part of the process, students sharpen their skills in thinking and communicating ideas, responding creatively to briefs. They will also learn how to plan their time and organise activities as a team learning to critically evaluate their work using scientific theories and models.
The project lasts for up to nine weeks and there are enough materials to build five powered gliders for a STEM club of 20 students. Students who finish their powered glider can complete their CREST passports, an award scheme enabling pupils to be eligible for a ‘Discovery Award’ and receive a personalised certificate.
Subjects covered include shapes and sizes, measurements, design calculations, aerodynamics, weight distribution and trimming for flight. The project consists of four main parts
- Designing the glider
- Building the glider
- Trimming, testing and flying the glider
- The competition.
This Smallpeice Trust think-kit comes with the tools and resources to start or help sustain a STEM club for up to 20 students in your school. Each kit complements the national curriculum in science, technology, engineering and maths and gives young people a chance to meet people passionate about engineering too. The experience is a great way to bring textbook topics to life and to see them at work in the wider world.
With the new powered glider think kit, teams of students are each challenged to design and build an electrically powered glider that travels the furthest over two flights made within 10 minutes of each other. The Powered Glider Think Kit contains all the project materials required, including lesson plans, weekly presentations, student worksheets and a teacher guidance video. Some additional tools will be required to complete the powered gliders.
Find out more
The CREST discovery awards scheme is the British Science Association’s flagship programme for young people, offering an introduction to real project work to give students the freedom to run their own investigations. Students work in groups to solve a STEM challenge with minimal adult intervention and present their work at the end of the day. As a design technology teacher, this gets the ‘thumbs up’ from me!
This is a sponsored post.