High impact Science events hosted by Truro High School
Over three days the activities engaged hundreds of students aged 10 to 15 challenging their engineering, mechanical and scientific skills and knowledge.
For the first event, teams of Year 6 pupils from Truro High Prep School, Mount Hawke Academy, Kea, Mithian, Mylor Bridge, and Chacewater schools faced the test of designing, creating and racing a land speed car.
The day was led by the joint forces of Cornwall College’s ‘stem’ co-ordinator, Sarah Talboys and Truro High School Physics teachers, Clare Hallam and Simon Loosley.
The students had to design and create a model car using specific guidelines and tools. The cars were fitted with small Estes engines inserted into the body and powered by a small electrical current which created combustion to move the vehicle up to 50 mph.
The results were extremely successful and the day thoroughly appreciated and enjoyed by everyone who took part.
Deputy Head and Year 6 teacher of Mount Hawke Academy, Catherine Biddick said: “Thank you so much to Truro High School for taking the time to organise the Engineering Challenge. Our children thoroughly enjoyed taking part and were made to feel most welcome. Their parents have been very complimentary too – the children were so excited they couldn’t stop talking about it.”
The entire Year 9 group at Truro High School was then invited to create solar powered cars – again a project led jointly by Miss Talboys and the Cornwall College ‘stem’ team together with Mrs Hallam and Mr Loosley from the High School.
The girls were split into teams and given identical kits. The principles of solar energy were explained and the students encouraged to start building in preparation for a series of races and tests along a specially designed track.
“It’s been an enlightening experience for the girls,” explained Mrs Hallam. “They’ve experienced the real life highs and lows of engineering and have risen to the challenge admirably. Several students show real promise!”
The final event was targeted at Year 5 and 6 pupils and included a total of almost 400 students from Truro High Prep School and local primary schools including, Kea, Perranporth, Mylor Bridge, Mithian, Threemilestone, Mount Hawke, St Ives and Chacewater.
Taking the form of an unconventional lecture, the students were entertained by Britain’s greatest genius Sir Isaac Newton. The performance lasted an hour and a half and had the children hooked and enthralled from beginning to end.
Playing the part of Isaac Newton was actor and teacher, David Hall, part of TV personality, Johnny Ball’s ‘Living History of Science’ team. During the session, with props and help from the audience, he led the students through a selection of Newton’s discoveries and inventions including the cat flap, calculus, the three laws of motion, the creation of the reflecting telescope – an invention that enabled scientists to study space and the stars – and, of course, gravity.
Kea school teacher, Lisa Marley, said: “The children were enraptured, they were totally engaged for over one and a half hours. Thank you very much to Truro High School, I think our pupils have really benefitted.”
Year 5 Kea pupil, Jessica agreed. She said: “I thought it was really good, we were learning but it was so funny and entertaining.”
“Opening young minds to the wonders of science and discovery is priceless,” said Truro High School Head of Science, Jon Dean, who organised the three events. “The feedback has been so positive. The students have thoroughly enjoyed themselves and have learned so much. The greatest discoveries have, historically, been made by young minds so the sooner we can engage and enthuse our younger generation the better.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to say thank you to South West Hire and Sales who kindly loaned us a dust extractor free of charge for the whole week.”
Ends 1 April 2014