Finton House School were tasked with a challenging space mission on their STEM Day recently. The children arrived at school in the morning to discover a crashed spaceship in the playground which had appeared overnight. This rapidly fuelled some early morning speculation as to what may have happened.
The children were then quickly ushered into assembly where a newsflash told them that an alien had apparently crash-landed at Finton House. A few CCTV clips showed the alien in various parts of the school, including sitting at the Headmaster’s desk. As the assembly continued there was sudden uproar as the alien walked past the window behind the presenter. Clearly something had to be done.
Throughout the day, children completed various problem-solving activities (relating to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) to return the alien to its home planet. Our young engineers in Year 1 helped the alien by designing their own rockets and making straw rockets with fins to give them stability. Working in teams, Years 5 and 6 used Spheros (controlled by the iPad) to calculate and programme a route through a giant map of the universe back to the alien’s home.
Everyone visited the giant Science Dome, which was like a planetarium, to see footage of the space station, enjoy a journey to each planet and even a rollercoaster ride through the rocks and ice of Saturn’s rings. “It was totally awesome” reported one Year 3 pupil.
Another highlight of the day was the self-built rockets launching in the playground. To the amusement of the children, one of the rockets was so well built that it landed on the School’s roof.
At one point in the afternoon, a UFO was spotted in the sky: “Perhaps that’s the alien’s friend coming to rescue him”, cried the children in Year 1.
It was a very memorable day filled with valuable hands-on learning experiences, engaging the whole school and every member of staff!
Ben Freeman, Headmaster of Finton House, said: ‘there’s nothing like this kind of immersive learning to trigger massive enthusiasm for a whole range of subjects. It takes a great deal of planning and resource, but the dividends are incalculable.’