Young Engineers Melbourne South visited Firbank Grammar for a K-6 incursion during science week. We covered the entire Primary school campus and ran age-appropriate fun engineering experiences for each classroom. Every classroom enjoyed 90 minutes of immersive STEM experiences – with the focus on E.
Preppies had a blast building an electric car. They learnt energy conversions, belt transmission and history of cars. What they enjoyed the most was turning the car on and having it “walk” or drive along beside them – like a pet on a leash! Who knew a simple rubber band, Lego people and Lego technique could combine together to create such an awesome learning experience.
These students were learning Simple machines in their ongoing unit of inquiry and Young Engineers was able to enhance it by exploring the Lever principle. Children learnt about Archimedes and built 3 different types of levers – observing in a hands-on manner the load, fulcrum and lever arm in action. They were amazed when they built a crane and noticed that the lever arm and load arm can just be a single string – and still lift some awesome weights!
Year 3- Year 6
Young engineers school incursion for this age group focussed on end-to-end software engineering. Children worked through 7 steps:
- Buiding the machine (No software without hardware)
- Use and purpose (requirements gathering)
- Defining programming objectives
- Algorithm design
- Pseudocode writing
They enjoyed an immersive software design and AI experience.
Year 3 – Year 4s built the Melbourne Eye – Or observation star. They identified that the machine needed to spin slowly and stop at every car to allow passengers to load and unload. They also coded in signals, so the machine indicated stop and start with beeps. Testing enhancements included getting the machine to stop 4 times for 4 cars to load, spin 2 complete circles and then stop again for 4 times to allow passenger unload.
Year 5 – Year 6s built the Robot waiter – This cute waiter was a donkey which had space on its back to bring food from the kitchen to the table. The donkey used gear transmission to move its 4 legs and actually walk around the room. The children used a tilt sensor and built a remote that would “wake” the donkey up when shaken. They had loads of fun getting their donkeys to walk on the carpet, table etc and program it to work.
If you want to bring such authentic STEM, problem-solving and engineering experiences to your classroom – don’t hesitate to drop us a line!