Catalyst Stream Taster Day
A group of talented Year 5 and 6 pupils attended our Catalyst taster day on 4th December, where they tested their engineering skills under the guidance of Mr Erlank and Mr Hillary.
Working in teams, each group was challenged to design and build a bridge using limited materials. Mr Erlank introduced the pupils to a selection of design options and the pupils discussed the strengths and weaknesses of each. They were then instructed to design a bridge to span a gap of 50cm.
There were some very different designs and some interesting conversations within each group. After checking the length of their bridges, each group passed a toy car along it to check that it was fit for purpose. Then came the tense moment when they placed two Mars Bars on top of their bridge to test its strength. All of the bridges passed the test.
In Mr Hillary’s lesson, pupils learnt about space shuttles; how they are launched and the measures that engineers have to consider in order to protect the valuable equipment in space. The pupils were then challenged to design and build a device to protect a precious cargo (an egg) whilst on its journey to space. They had lots of fun discussing the best way to protect it and set about trying to produce the winning design. There was a nerve-wracking experience for each group as they watched their egg being vibrated for a whole minute to see if it survived. After all eggs surviving the first challenge, they then had to remove the cotton wool from their design and retest it!
The pupils attended the taster day as an introduction to the Catalyst STEM Stream which is available for Year 7 students at Nova Hreod Academy from September 2022. The Catalyst Stream will provide a more intensive curriculum for talented students who have a strong interest in the STEM subjects and want to study it in more detail and at a faster pace.
For more information about Catalyst please visit: www.novahreodacademy.org.uk/catalyst-stream.