Royston school steams ahead with ‘off-grid learning’ marble run
PUBLISHED: 11:08 27 May 2016 | UPDATED: 11:08 27 May 2016
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.
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 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.
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.”
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.”