Rotary STEM Challenge
Annual Rotary Club Technology Tournament
Twelve eager (new) Year 10 pupils from Cirencester Deer Park School made their way over to the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Building at Cirencester College on Friday 21 June 2019 for the annual Rotary Club Technology Tournament. There were three A Level teams from the College and three Deer Park teams - two other schools had dropped out.
The challenge they undertook was the hardest one yet! The young people were given the scenario of an overturned train that was carrying toxic chemicals. The chemicals needed picking up and placing in a safe area. The brief was, therefore, to design a crane that could run along a track, pick up the chemicals and deposit them in a safe area.
The solution was looking for a vehicle with a jib attached. The A Level pupils had the added complication of a bridge, which restricted the height of the crane. Our pupils were given the opportunity to create a pulley system operated by a reverse switch, which could lower the magnet to pick up the container and then drop the container in the safe area.
The pupils were marked on their portfolios and Eliza, Emma-Jo, James and Alex were in the lead with their folios but the team work and testing of the winning team's crane and pulley system meant that Alex, Hugh, Ollie and Thomas came first overall. Well done all of you.
Head of Design, Mrs Evans: "The STEM Challenge Day was a great opportunity for our pupils to work as teams and solve a real life situation. Our thanks to organiser John Smith from The Rotary Club of Cirencester and to Cirencester College for hosting the day. We look forward to taking part again next year."
"I found the day really cool as I learnt how to create a switch and make the current flow through it. The people there were very helpful and told us what to do when we were stuck."
"It was very challenging but also really fun."
"It gave me taster of what teamwork in DEC would be like." James T
"Personally think we should have won (!) but overall it was an amazing experience."
"I found it quite challenging at times, but overall it was a very fun and enjoyable experience." Emma-Jo K
"I found the STEM challenge very enjoyable and it was a challenge, but when we needed help they gave a prompts." Cameron Y
"I thoroughly enjoyed building the crane. It was a great experience." Alex B
"I really enjoyed working in teams and making fun designs with friends." Harvey H
"I found it fun and it really helped me to understand more about designing. Although it was a hard challenge, as a team it was great working together." Eliza P
"I really liked it and winning was the icing on the cake but making the switch and working out how to reverse the current was a pain."
“I thoroughly enjoyed building the crane. I spent time with my friends and it was a great learning experience. Some elements were particularly hard - such as making the switch to make the motor go up and down - but as a team we got over it.” Hugh AD