17 Feb Wild Things enter a National Engineering Competition
Wild Things Class have taken part in a national engineering competition to engineer the solution to a problem. The competition had quite strict criteria.
- The children had to identify problems that needed a solution.
- The children had to engineer solutions to the problems they identified.
- The children had to draw and annotate their inventions
- They had to write a letter to the competition judges persuading them to make their inventions.
- We had to have visits from engineers to talk to the children about Engineering and to give the children opportunities to share their inventions and talk through their design ideas.
The designs and letters are then sent away to be judged and the winning entries will be made into actual models and prototypes.
The children decided to Engineer solutions to plastic pollution as they had already investigated this looking at the case study of Chessel Bay.
We looked carefully at how plastic/nurdles gets into the water and identified 5 engineering problems. The children chose one each to solve.
- How to stop nurdles escaping through storm drains.
- How to stop nurdles escaping when being transported.
- How to remove plastic pollution from the oceans.
- How to remove plastic from sandy beaches
- How to remove plastic from shingle beaches.
The engineering design process took a lot of discussion about processes such as: filtering, sieving, straining, collecting, magnetising, weighing, sweeping, scooping.
The Solutions the children came up with were inspiring and mind blowing!
We had a remote control car to enter storm drains and scoop out nurdles, diving gear with beacons and nets, nurdle collector drones that doubled as a submarine and Plastic collecting boats. Every invention was unique and inspired!
Then it was on to writing the persuasive letters. Children had to say what problem they were solving, how they were solving it and why their invention should be made. They also had to say who or what inspired them.
They letters were incredibly mature and I would have a very hard time choosing one!!
The full inventions and persuasive letters can be found in the book outside Wild Things Class.
The children were then lucky enough to be visited by two engineers.
Will Etherington came in to talk to the children about engineering and spoke to every child about their inventions. He shared photos of current engineering innovations that the children could use to take their inventions to the next level. He encouraged the children to work in groups to create bigger and better engineering solutions by combining their ideas.
We then had a visit from Josh White. He shared his engineering career so far and showed the children about deep sea underwater technologies. We also got to feel cutting edge composite materials. The children again had an opportunity to share their inventions and talk through problems they had encountered.
We also have further engineer visits planned for later in the term.
A huge thank you to all of the engineers who answered our plea for help!
The competition was an amazing experience and we are really hopeful that we will have a national engineering winner!!