On Thursday 21st January 4 members of Prestwood Junior School Year 6 travelled to London to the BETT show at the ExCel. The BETT Show is the world's leading education technology event celebrated in the UK. The children were going to represent the school in a Maths in Motion race hosted by Toshiba on their stand.
Amirah, George, Joshua and Zac had to create a car (on-line) to race on the Silverstone track, working out lengths of the straights, curvature of the bends, length of the track and adjusting the suspension, aerodynamic down force, gear box ratios and engine tuning in the workshop adjustments. Having worked out the safe speed for their car around all the features of the track, they then ran practice laps to fine tune the car’s performance before finally working out the best tyres to use for the weather conditions, how much fuel to use and and when to have their pitstops.
We were one of 14 schools invited to take part, 8 primary schools, and 6 secondary schools. The cars were set up over 2½ days with 2 schools on the stand at any one time. During their time on the stand our children “taught” interested passes-by all about what they were doing the most notable being the principal of Stockholm university (via an interpreter) and a Birmingham secondary school head teacher.
The race was run on the Friday afternoon. The car created by Amirah, George, Josh and Zac came a very creditable 4th in the race. They were very close behind 2 other primary schools and a secondary school.
Their success did not stop there. While on the stand Toshiba invited them to write on their wall! The subject was “What resources do you use for learning?” Their answer of “woodlandsjunior.com, books and travel to the countries they are learning about” won the school a Toshiba netbook.
An email from the organisers said: To watch four 10 year olds talking, knowledgeably, to the Principal of the University of Stockholm through an interpreter about their Engine Tuning/Aerodynamic Downforce settings was something I shall take to my grave with me! They not only did it perfectly, they gave the impression that they did it every day of their lives for a living!!
Final words go to Zac – who said: The whole experience was very fun and academic. I learned how to animate, give complex instructions and work as a team in an environment I wasn’t used to. I would definitely go again!
Extract of e-mail sent by Maths in Motion organisers
Toshiba@BETT Maths in Motion Challenge
Sun 24/01/2016 12:22
Just a quick email to thank you all for helping to make last week's event such a success. Wendy and I were talking about the children yesterday, how they were an absolute credit to you all and how privileged we both felt that you had allowed us to spend time and work with them. The circumstances they found themselves in must have been a touch overpowering for some of them to say the least but every single one of them just got on with the job at hand and did it well. To watch four 10 year olds talking, knowledgeably, to the Principal of the University of Stockholm through an interpreter about their Engine Tuning/Aerodynamic Downforce settings was something I shall take to my grave with me! They not only did it perfectly, they gave the impression that they did it every day of their lives for a living!! And then there was the time when two secondary lads were talking about the software, and how they both wanted to be engineers as a result of using it, to the European Managing Director of Intel.......... and so the week went on. All of the youngsters experienced something similar to these tales during their time with us and I hope that they enjoyed it so much that they don't stop talking about it for a long time!
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