Helen of Troy had nothing on Year 6 at St Joseph’s Catholic School Broadstairs when they launched their own fan operated boats after a morning’s workshop on electricity, forces and friction led by Philip Lennard, a visiting STEM Ambassador.
The flotilla of 15 boats were designed, built and tested by the children themselves working in pairs after a masterclass from Philip on circuits, materials, air and water resistance and friction.
Using a variety of materials, the design brief was to construct a fan boat that would be functional but innovative. Rigorous testing of the boats then took place on water with evaluation and modifications allowed to ensure that the boats floated.
In the Year of Engineering, it is workshops like these that do much to promote the spirit of curiosity, analysis and evaluation that are the key skill sets for the engineers of the future.
Here are some comments from the boat builders themselves:-
“We tested the boats in water. Mine was one of the best shaped”
“I had to check the motor was wired properly”
“It was so awesome. I would like to become an engineer”
“ I liked testing my boat”