More than thirty children, parents and grandparents enjoyed building cars and rockets at our creative Design & Technology Event.
Mr Munro, complete with lab coat, clip board and stopwatch, kindly provided the scientific information, as well as being our electrical circuit trouble-shooter. He was also the power behind the rocket launch outside, using an air-compressor to power them. Trajectory was measured with a special gun but it was the gasps from the children and adults that defined the winners, who rose to more than fifty metres. Fins added speed but tail feather, chicken-shaped feet and go-faster stripes added the element of design. Mr Munro also made it his afternoon mission to propel a balloon across the length of the room on a piece of cotton, with the help from students.
The teams had to adopt roles to make the most of their skills - the designer, the builder, the data analyst - many problems were solved through teamwork and putting heads together. This was especially evident when teams were given no instructions and just a pack containing a chassis, different sized wheels and three elastic bands with the challenge of using the bands to convert into power.
The two-hour event turned into three as teams stayed late to adapt their own model car. With models made from scratch, the axle and wheel system allowed movement and the decision of propeller versus battery geared systems added the power to travel. Parents taught their children how to measure and cut wood and acrylic, drill holes and one even added seating and a sunroof. No two looked the same as there was a plethora of materials to choose from.
Chocolate prizes and certificates were awarded to the fastest elastic-band-powered car, the highest and longest rocket launch, best-dressed rocket and anyone who designed and made their own car that could travel the width of the art room.
Teams left the art room still discussing modifications, ready for Lego figures to test drive them when they returned home. Learning about structures and mechanisms was fun, but spending quality time as a family was just as memorable.