Shoreham school pupils race boats created at STEM event

Year six pupils enjoyed a day of STEM activity which saw them design and create ‘fan boats’.

Monday, 10th February 2020, 3:25 pm
Updated Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 11:36 am

To help with the task, the children at Buckingham Park Primary School in Shoreham were visited by two STEM ambassadors, including former chartered engineer Mike Wooldridge.

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, and is the name used to promote these activities among school children.

Verity White, a year six teacher at the school in Buckingham Road, said: “The day was really successful, the children worked collaboratively and enjoyed themselves.

Year six pupils at Buckingham Park Primary School in Shoreham took part in a STEM day
Year six pupils at Buckingham Park Primary School in Shoreham took part in a STEM day

“It also was inspiring to hear about the possible future career options available to the children.”

On the day, pupils designed simple boats and then cut them out of plastic pizza bases.

The shapes were then stuck together and a battery powered propeller attached. They were then tested in a large, shallow tank.

According to Mike, many boats capsized or sank initially, but after much trial and error, the children learned the lessons of static and dynamic stability, and were able to have fun racing the boats.

After several heats, the winner was boat number 1 from Seagulls class.

There was also a prize for the best looking boat

Later in the day, pupils had a question and answer session where the two ambassadors, also including a quality control technician working for a local pharmaceutical company, answered questions about their careers.

Mike Wooldridge said: “It was enjoyable for us ambassadors. I do it partly because, having had a rewarding career as an engineer, I want to put something back in to the system.

“Also, it’s great being part of mainstream education for a day.”

Speaking about STEM subjects, Mike added: “The UK is seriously short of youngsters taking up these subjects; so Government, industry and other professional bodies have got together to form the STEM organisation.

“Indeed, we have to thank the Institution of Mechanical Engineers for providing the boat kits for the day.”