RAF STEM day Space challenge Jaguar Class 1st February 2023
The day was delivered via a live stream over you tube that could be paused if needed. The day began with children learning about the role of an engineer, and that there are various different types of engineers. They were told that engineers use maths science and technology to make something new. It was also outlined that they needed to take note of safety, work as a team and communicate effectively.
They began by talking about the differences between rockets and aircraft, and the role of satellites. They were then shown how to make the body of the rocket, and then how to add the foils at the bottom of the rocket, being given the option of adding 3 or 4. The demonstrator actually added these to the wrong end of her rocket. (Whether on purpose of by mistake) and it was good for the children to see that everyone makes mistakes.
The children then tested their rockets at different angles to calculate the best angle for the greatest distance travelled. They then returned to the classroom, and discussed adding load to their rockets. They added different loads and tested these at their best angle.
Throughout the morning they returned to the live stream at each stage. They also had a booklet provided to complete to record their data and observations.
The children found it enjoyable and exciting. It was fun, and great to be doing practical activities and making things. A few children said they found the actual rocket making a bit of a challenge, but one added that it’s good to challenge yourself. They said that they enjoyed working with their friends, and having the whole morning on the activity, rather than over a few days, because they don’t forget what they’re doing, and can see the whole activity through at one time. They said it was nice to have an expert and trainer engineer doing the activity with them, but that their teacher made lessons interesting and fun. They also were pleased to see that other people make mistakes, even if they are professional engineers. They explained that they had learnt to make paper rockets, about scientific testing, and the use of angles, and which is best for launching rockets to make them fly the furthest.