STEM Quest Club: Protecting polymers

At the start of STEM Quest club this week, we looked at what jobs might need a knowledge of science.  The children came up with some interesting ideas: archeologist was very popular.  We also looked at photographs of people who used science in their jobs – in some unusual ways.

This activity this week was developed by CREST and was called Protecting Polymers (pdf).  The year 4 children were the scientists who were investigation which was the best type of cling film to protect left-over macaroni cheese.  With the help of the year 9 STEM Quest leaders, each group started by planning their experiments, and deciding how they were going to take measurements.  All four groups had slightly different methods.  When they had finished their experiments, they were able to use their measurements to give a conclusion about the best cling film.


STEM Quest Club: Tumblewings

Today at STEM quest club we were looking at flying things in general, and Big Mouth Tumblewings in particular.  These are fascinating objects which can float on an updraft of air.  They are easy to make, but can be quite challenging to fly.

The session was led by Gracie and Amy, who did a good job of explaining the activity.  The Cragside children and Year 9 STEM Quest leaders worked very hard, and everybody was able to fly their tumblewing by the end of the club.  It was also lovely to see the World Book Day costumes as well.

You can try out tumblewings at home – the instructions are on our tumblewings page.

One of the things that engineers and scientists learn quite quickly is that sometimes getting things to work isn’t always easy, and that you have to stick at things and keep going.  Of course, that’s true in many careers, not just science related ones.  Today, the children were practicing that skill very well and kept going cheerfully until they could fly!