05 Jun, 2018
10 : 00
Year 4’s current topic is ‘Extreme Energy’. We have mainly focused on different sources of energy, and the importance of clean, renewable energy.
As part of this, the children have thought about what it would be like to live without electricity. We discovered that a third of the world does not have access to electricity for various reasons. When thinking about the climate and landscape in these places, the children were quick to suggest building simple sources of clean, renewable energy such as micro hydro-power systems and wind turbines.
To take this further, each of the children were assigned a country and a list of resources their country had access to (depending upon the wealth of the country) and were challenged to make a wind turbine.
This kind of activity is called STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and encourages critical thinking, problem solving and team work, skills which are essential for children to develop.
After some initial planning time in teams, the children were given an hour to build their wind turbine using the materials provided. We agreed as a class on what would make a wind turbine ‘successful’: The blades needed to turn easily and they needed to be strong and not fall over.
Once we had built them they were tested, and we discovered that many of them did not work very successfully. The children then showed fantastic insight and teamwork by suggesting why their own, and other children’s, did not work, and how they could be improved.
Following from this, the children are going to have time to revise their designs, still using the same materials, and then we will test them again. We look forward to seeing how they develop!