Kinsalebeg, Co. Waterford

A Week of Engineering

The boys and girls of 5th and 6th were very busy in the last week. We took part in an engineering project with STEAM Engineering. Sponsored by DP Engineering all equipment that we needed were delivered to the school along with the expertise of Brian Rice our very own online engineer who lead us through all aspects of engineering over 5 zoom lessons

Day 1 was all about what engineering is, and the many varied types of engineering that there are. We then focused on building and using just lollipop sticks and blue tac the children were tasked with designing and building a bird house. We also looked at engineering in nature Birds’ nests, beaver’s dams and how these creatures engineer amazing constructions.

Day 2 was all about renewable energy and how engineers are coming up with new ideas and ways for us to get away from the dreaded fossil fuels. Wind, geothermal, hydro and wave energy are all ways we will be creating energy in the future. Using all recycled materials, we made pulleys and wind turbines. We learned that engineers are looking at nature to make wind energy more efficient and modeling new wind turbines in the dorsal fin of the humpback whale.

Day 3 was all about transport and using it efficiently. We learned how engineers are constantly looking for ways to improve our transport and how transport has evolved over the ages, From the invention of the wheel to space travel. We discussed flight and aerodynamics and made paper aeroplanes. We looked at ships and how something so big and heavy does not sink. We then used some junk material to construct our own boats and tested them to see did they float.

Day 4 was possibly our favourite. We looked at biomedical engineering. We learned how this engineering has changed the lives of so many people and indeed animals too. Brian told us about working in an aquarium and building prosthetic fins for turtles! We looked at our hands and how they are made of bone, muscles and tendons. Then using cardboard templates, straws, twine and tape we constructed models of a human hand

Day 5, our last day was all about electrical engineering. We learned about how the electrons in an atom are charged and can be harnessed to make electricity. We learned about conductors and insulators. We used playdough, bulbs, batteries and wire to make some electrical circuits.

It was a great learning week and I’d say we definitely have a few budding engineers in our class. Thanks again to STEAM engineering and DP engineering for making it happen, and of course Brian for being with us via zoom each day and making it all work so seamlessly.

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