On Monday the 9th November the members of the ALNS Challenge Club organized a session for primary schools (Westover and Copnor) to come to ALNS and take part in lots of challenging STEM activities. This included: bridge building; an acid and alkalis experiment; sweet destination; musical maths; tower building and parachute building. A competition was held at the end as to whose parachute took the longest time to hit the ground.
During the planning process of this event, the members of the ALNS Challenge Club met up at lunch times and after school. We discussed what activities we would do, who would run them and how many people would be in each group. We also had to provide our own equipment; this meant going to places such as the science prep room and the art room.
At the beginning of the session there was a starter game which was led by Dani Francis. This was a game where you had 2 pieces of paper between 3 people, and you had to use these 2 pieces of paper to get from one end of the room to the other. To do this they all had to use teamwork and good communication skills as there were people from different schools in their team. Another person who really got involved was Caitlin Gains (the project manager). Unfortunately, she was not able to attend the actual event, however she played a key part in the preparation and was able to make sure everything was ready for the day.
During the STEM activities all of the children participated and got involved with the session. For example with the acid and alkaline activity all of the children had a turn at mixing up the acids and alkaline etc. Also they were very sensible and careful whilst doing all of this. Another example is with the bridge/tower building; they all had to use teamwork and all worked together very successfully. Overall it seemed like all of the children enjoyed the evening and were very interested to learn about all of the activities!
At the end of the session, all of the children completed a feedback form. The general feedback given was that all the activities were ‘challenging’. Overall, most children said that the most challenging activity was ‘musical maths’. In this activity the children had to answer some challenging maths questions; the answers were then used to work out what notes needed to be played on the xylophone to play a well know children’s rhyme. On the other hand, the activity the children said that they enjoyed the most was ‘acids and alkalis’. In this activity the children had some acid and alkalis, they added universal indicator and tried to make and neutral colour (green).
All of the children enjoyed the session and everyone agreed that it was a big success!