Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Solving technological problems using materials – Tech Challenge

All teams were given a pre-planned challenge weeks prior to the technology challenge event to perform on the day, as well as a secret challenge that they would find out on the day too. Te Mahia School children were participating alongside children from Nuhaka, Wairoa Primary, Frasertown, and St Joseph’s school.

First up the year 3 & 4 teams had to make a ‘Raincoat’ using 6 plastic shopping bags and cellotape, what they didn’t tell us was that after constructing their raincoats those children wearing the raincoats were to run through a hose spraying water. The kids definitely had fun watching participating in that. The secret challenge for year 3 and 4 teams was the Marble Roll’. Using newspapers and cellotape the children had to design a device to roll or aim a marble along the floor to hit a target in the shortest possible time; the marble had to be dropped into your marble roller device. There were some very interesting constructions and our tamariki did extremely well constructing their devices. One of our teams experienced success and hit the target with the marble, ka mau te wehi. Our tamariki in both teams worked incredibly well together too!

Next up were the year 5 & 6 teams. A nomadic shelter construction was first on the agenda. The shelter that teams were constructing out of newspaper, cellotape and string had to be able to sleep 2 people (kids), and be transported (picked up and moved to another location) without falling over. Our team gave it their all but unluckily their shelter fell over just as time was called. I think reflecting back on their shelter the girls knew that they had to make a sturdier base for their shelter (newspaper needed to rolled tighter) so that it could stand on its own. They had constructed an awesome shelter at school the week before too. Will get it next time girls! The secret challenge for this year group was the ‘Egg drop’, where the team had to design a container out of materials (thin card, string, paper, masking tape and a plastic bag) that would carry the egg safely when dropped from a 4m height. With a cushion bed design our team’s egg looked like it was in for a safe drop. Unfortunately the egg smashed on impact with the ground as did most the other teams eggs. I think I only saw 2 successful egg drops out of 16 teams. Super proud of how our year 5 & 6 team worked and delegated their jobs within the group!

Last challenges for the day we had the year 7 & 8 teams. We had entered two teams in this section. The pre-planned challenge was the tallest flagpole. The challenging part of it was that you weren’t allowed to stick the base of the flagpole to the ground. One of our teams got their flagpole erected but the others flagpole fell over just as time ran out. Reflecting back on this challenge the children identified that they could have had wider bases for better support and the newspapers needed to be rolled tightly so they wouldn’t bend and sway. The secret challenge for year 7 & 8’s was to design a surveillance aircraft using paper, straws and blue tac. They had to use all the straws too and blue tac seemed an odd material to use as it was heavier in weight than cellotape. What the judges were looking for was distance and how long the plane could stay in the air for. Aerodynamics definitely came into play with this challenge. We had some very creative airplane designs from our tamariki and they had fun crafting their designs in their groups. Overall there were smiles on the children’s faces, and I could hear lots of laughter. Ka pai tamariki ma!

The children all had a fun day, it was definitely a learning experience for all involved, and it was great that the children were reflecting on what they could do or change next time if they were to do these challenges again. Thank you to Aunty Les and Cherie for coming along to support the children, and to Sandy our bus driver for transporting us to and from the tech challenge. A massive effort from all our tamariki, you should all be proud of how you worked as a team together and supported each other!

Year 3 & 4 challenges

Year 5 & 6 challenges

Year 7 & 8 challenges

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