Friday, December 9, 2022

Primary Pupils Catapulted To Success

ONE HUNDRED of Thurrock’s talented mathematicians have been taking part in a competition to build a Trebuchet that fires the furthest.

The year five students have been drawn from seven schools that form the Tilbury and Chadwell Excellence Cluster, to create a kind of catapult, which has a two-litre plastic lemonade bottle as a counterweight.

They will have an opportunity to test the effectiveness of their design and build when competing for a grand trophy in the autumn term.

The Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence (CEME) has been working with the Tilbury and Chadwell Excellence Cluster to develop the project, which will build on students’ skills in maths in a practical, fun and exciting way and put engineering at the centre of the council’s raising aspirations agenda.

Michelle Manning Head of Programmes at CEME said: “The competition is part of a bigger research project where students have to explain how a Trebuchet works, how it fires and what angles are needed for maximum impact.

“It makes use of CEME’s state of the art design and technology facilities for schools, and encourages students to think about and use science techniques that are no longer part of the SATs testing.”

Cllr Diana Hale, Thurrock Council’s Cabinet member for Education agreed:

“The aim is for many of these mathematicians to return to school determined to become scientists – my father and brother were both engineers and I hope these children are the engineers of the future.”

Miss Ami Cooper, a teacher at Corringham Primary School, added: “This is an excellent opportunity for the students to learn through practical hands on experience, without the normal constraints found in schools. Some of the children who do not normally respond well in a classroom environment have really excelled at the task, and the teamwork has been impressive.”

A sentiment echoed by one of the participants Jake Hillion a year five pupil at Corringham Primary School: “It’s been a really really enjoyable day, and it’s great to do something other than literacy and numeracy in the classroom. It’s been brilliant working in a team with people you wouldn’t necessarily work with at school and being able to use saws and mallets!”

All the schools are confident of success and are busy decorating their machines and practising for the final fire off in September 2010.

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