• Youngsters showcase musical and nautical creations

    July 05, 2018
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    Youngsters showcase musical and nautical creations

    Youngsters from across Leicestershire and South Nottinghamshire put their ship-building and music-making skills to the test as part of the 3M Young Innovators Challenge.

    Youngsters showcase musical and nautical creations

    Youngsters from across Leicestershire and South Nottinghamshire put their ship-building and music-making skills to the test as part of the 3M Young Innovators Challenge.

    Youngsters showcase musical and nautical creations

    Youngsters from across Leicestershire and South Nottinghamshire put their ship-building and music-making skills to the test as part of the 3M Young Innovators Challenge.

    • St Pauls school Cargo Carrier entry
      Cargo Carrier challenge entries
      Eco Tech competition entries
      Eco Tech competition entries

      The competition aims to foster technical and creative innovation among the next generation through six challenges, each aligned to a different area of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) curriculum.

      Judging has recently been completed for the Cargo Carrier Challenge and the Eco Tech Primary Challenge, with scores of primary school teams vying for top prizes.

      Some 41 teams from 15 schools entered the Cargo Carrier Challenge, which tasked entrants with designing and building a floating vessel capable of carrying up to 5kg while itself remaining as lightweight as possible.

      The youngsters’ innovative creations ranged from galleons to banana boats and had names including HMS Victory and Floaty Mc Boaty.

      Each team also had to devise an optimal loading sequence for its vessel – detailing where and when the weights should be placed – as well as giving a presentation demonstrating an understanding of forces, buoyancy and scientific principles, such as Archimedes’ principle.

      The judges, who have had an extremely difficult decision to make, are Chris Bishop, a principal project engineer at 3M, and John Fisher, technical director at Lacerta Technology Ltd.

      As well as assessing each vessel’s load carrying capacity to weight ratio, they were looking for experimentation with materials, and evidence of STEM learning through research into boat design, buoyancy and stability.

      Chris, who devised the challenge, said: “This is the first time we have run the Cargo Carrier Challenge, so we were particularly looking forward to seeing the entries in this category.

      “The teams certainly didn’t disappoint. Their designs were really impressive. We may even have to increase the load capacity for next year, because some really lightweight vessels did so well.

      “A few did succumb to the weight and sink, but the children seemed to enjoy that just as much. It was great to see them all so enthusiastic about science and engineering.” Meanwhile, 32 teams of Year 4 to 6 pupils from across 14 schools entered the Eco Tech Primary Challenge. Each had to design and build a functioning musical instrument using only recycled materials.

      Entries ranged from a ‘hocktar’ – a four-stringed guitar fashioned from a hockey stick – to a glass orchestra made using bottles suspended from a broom handle and coat hangers.

      Each team also gave a presentation about their project and what they had learned about the science of sound, covering topics such as how sound is produced and detected.

      Entrants also received extra points for playing a recognisable tune on their instruments. Song choices included nursery rhymes and rock classics such as Queen’s We Will Rock You and Deep Purple’s Smoke on the Water.

      The judges for this challenge, who spent many hours deliberating, are Tabby Shaikh, a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt at 3M, and Judy Nicol, a well-known local band and orchestra leader, and music teacher.

      They explored the children’s understanding of sound, vibration, pitch and volume, as well as their skills in using recycled materials.

      Tabby said: “This challenge is always one of our most popular and every year we can’t wait to see what the teams have come up with.

      “The diverse range of instruments they created this year was wonderful. They had all clearly learned a lot about the science of sound and the environmental benefits of recycling, which was music to our ears!”

      Watch the Cargo Carrier Challenge video below to find out more.


    Cargo Carrier Challenge video