Royston school steams ahead with ‘off-grid learning’ marble run

PUBLISHED: 11:08 27 May 2016 | UPDATED: 11:08 27 May 2016

Team Eagles won the competition overall by saving up their STEAM points at Roysia School.

Team Eagles won the competition overall by saving up their STEAM points at Roysia School.

Archant

Teams of budding scientists, artists and engineers at a Royston school were pitted against each other on Friday in a competition where creative thinking was the key to success.

Falcons and Kestrels built the slowest marble runs with a time of 19 seconds.Falcons and Kestrels built the slowest marble runs with a time of 19 seconds.

Children at Roysia Middle School went off-timetable for the day to compete in the house activity where they worked in mixed-age groups to test their problem solving skills in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics – known as STEAM classes – to create the slowest marble run out of everyday materials.

Leader of science Jan Hitchcock said: “It was brilliant. All the children worked really well together as part of their teams and when taking on their own responsibilities.”

The marble runs are tested out at the STEAM Competition at Roysia School.The marble runs are tested out at the STEAM Competition at Roysia School.

The competition was the climax of the school’s creative thinking week where they took part in a series of ‘off-grid learning’ experiences.

The three houses – Eagles, Falcons and Kestrels – all worked on their marble runs and they could earn points, called STEAMs, to buy materials for their creations, with a focus on friction, gravity and speed. Any unused STEAMs were added onto the teams’ total points.

After the teams' hard work, their marble runs are tested out at Roysia SchoolAfter the teams' hard work, their marble runs are tested out at Roysia School

The Eagles won overall, having edged in front by saving up the most STEAM points, but the Falcons and Kestrels had the joint slowest run with times of 19 seconds each.

Jan said: “The older children took it upon themselves to help the younger children, and you could see who the leaders were and it wasn’t always necessarily the older ones.”

Pupils celebrate their STEAM success at Roysia School.Pupils celebrate their STEAM success at Roysia School.

It was the third year Roysia had run the creative thinking week and Jan said it was growing every year, with staff building on ideas and the children’s response being very positive.

Jan added: “It was a really encouraging competition and everyone did brilliantly.”

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