We returned to Cheltenham Science Festival again this year for the family fun weekend, and had an excellent two days with perfect weather! We also took part in the schools workshop programme earlier in the week, debuting our new electricity show and musical Tesla Coil.
Girls Enjoying Technology
On Wednesday Townley Grammar School celebrated their STEAM day, one of their three annual off-curriculum days. We were glad to take part in this celebration. It was great for us to work exclusively with girls as sometimes our technology workshops are seen more as boy’s activities, which is not the case.
The day began with Tom’s show on UV light, which took place in the school gym. The girls made their own UV torches in order to continue investigating at home the wonders of this special light.
With piles of laser-cut cardboard and sticky tape the students that stayed at the gym had a fun time creating wonderful marble roller coasters, helped by our colleagues Felix and Finlay. Over four hours these girls worked in teams of four, and at the end of the session most of their designs worked perfectly. This has been the first time that we have introduced an electric marble lift to these structures and it was very successful. It allowed them to work indefinitely in a loop without any intervention. At the bottom of this post you can watch a video of one of these creations.
At the same time Tom and myself taught the girls how to design games based on a set of resources that we have previously prepared. The girls learnt very quickly during both sessions we ran. Each pair made a level that we assembled into two larger games, one for the morning and one for the afternoon session. The cardboard rollercoasters help understanding of physics and mechanics, and the game design tool exercises imagination and is great in developing logical reasoning. If anyone is inspired to make their own games, you can download the software we used at www.yoyogames.com; we´d love to see what you come up with so send us a message if you decide to explore this further!