Year 6 Visit to Beacon Academy

In October, the Year 6 children attended Beacon Academy for a Science and Engineering day. In the morning, they had 3 challenges to complete. Challenge 1 was The Structure Challenge. This was where the children looked at today’s problems with earthquakes and the need for engineers to make buildings safer. The children were given cocktail sticks and marshmallows and they had to construct a 3d building that would withstand the ‘earthquake machine’ for 10 seconds. If the construction managed to stay erect, a chocolate bar was then placed on top to see if it would stay erect with added weight. Unfortunately, none of them did. Back to the drawing board!

The second challenge was to make the tallest tower in 5 minutes with the given materials, which would remain upright when unsupported. The children worked in groups and had to ensure that they used effective communication as well as speed to win. This was done in a separate room away from everyone else so no one knew the results until the end! Well done to Sienna, Kian and Charlie, whose tower was an impressive 232 cm. The only reason they didn’t build it any higher is because even with standing on a chair, no one could reach any higher! Commiserations to Brooke, Wiktor, Oliwer and Bartosz, who managed to get to over a metre before their tower fell at the last minute and they only managed to build back up to 13 cm before their time ran out.

Challenge 3 was Battle Bot, where the children had to make a wooden spinner. Using a vice, saw and sandpaper, they prepared the dowel and shaped the tip before inserting it into a disc. Finally, they designed their graphics and then assembled their spinner. When the children pulled the string, the spinner span upright. We were hoping to have a battle where all the spinners went into the arena, but ran out of time.

In the afternoon, the children participated in a scientific investigation to find out whether temperature affected the viscosity of a liquid. First of all, they had to think about the variables, (what changes i.e. the temperature of the oil and what stays the same i.e. the amount of oil used) and then predict what they thought would happen. The children then carried out the investigation where they had to take 25ml of oil of differing temperatures and time how long they would take to drip though a plastic cup. We found out that the warmer the oil, the faster the flow. This led us to the conclusion that the warmer the liquid, the less viscous it is.

A really enjoyable day was had by all.