EmmTech - The Emmbrook School STEMNET club
A society where young people, regardless of background, recognise the contribution of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) to their lives and more are choosing to pursue STEM qualifications and careers.
STEMNET aims to ensure that more young people in the UK make a choice to enter science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related careers at all levels, and future generations are properly informed about the science and technology that surrounds them.
Our Aim(s) this year - 2011
1.To design and build a model race car inspired by the Bloodhound SSC project. To also take part in the F1 challenge for schools, working in teams of 2 or 3 pupils.
2. To enter the sports challenge 2011 - design and build of a sporting venue
3. To run a STEMNET day for the whole of Year 9
18th June 2009
You will be working in the same teams as last week and should collect a car from S8 and make your way to the covered way, near the canteen. You will also need to collect a Timer.
The challenge is to see which team can get their car quickest from the first metal pillar to the canteen door, travelling between the metal pillars (i.e. using them as chicanes). See diagram below:
There are some obvious factors to take into consideration, the main one being reducing the journey between the chicanes.
Your computer program will need to be offer a ‘smooth’ delivery and progress.
All cars will need to be ready by 4.45pm. Please give your team a name.
Let's start with items of information:
1. Thank you if you took a solar car home to work on further. We learned 2 things:
I have now offered the challenge of further developing the cars to the VI formers. I went to the assembly this morning (Monday)
2. We will be having a STEMNET day. We will have some KS4 students designing and building a giant rollercoaster, to be modelled on an actual 'Coaster. EmmTech will split the day into 2 parts:
This week we will be moving onto programmable robots. This will be a new topic all together and one that I am really looking forward to.
3. I have nearly printed-off the letters regarding our trip on the 30th June to BP. Due to the numbers involved, not all will be able to attend. To be fair, we will select those pupils to go who have the highest attendance record. Where there is a draw, we will pull names
Judging Panel: N Collins (Head of Dt), A Slyfield (Co-Leader), T Bhambra (Co-Leader), G Moss (Deputy), G Tunstall (Club Secretary)
Criteria: Structural integrity, aesthetics, average speed, poster design and car-cover
Firstly, I was personally very impressed by the collaborative nature of the two teams; it was a joy to watch you working and gelling so well as a team.
It was really quite tense towards the end and there was frantic activity during the last 15minutes or so.
Mrs Slyfield made the point and it was echoed - to construct a working 'coaster in around 3 hours without instructions is not easy. To that end, you were both winners.
Alas, for the challenge itself, there can be only one winning team.
Each of the judges cast their vote, free from influence or prejudice, and our decision was unanimous.
The winning Team is Team 1.
Special commendation to Team 2 for their poster.
Congratulations Team 1!
OK, I'll stop with the corny gags...
EmmTech arrived on time just after Break 2, patiently awaiting team allocation and commencement of task.
The two teams decided (10 members each), our able KS4 girls led the groups. Firstly, 2 pupils from each group led the design and manufacture of the roller car top. Thank you Mrs Collins for your support here.
It was interesting watching the teams work. Mrs Slyfield and I were greatly impressed with the delegatory work -- you quickly assessed strengths, past expeiences and skills and allocated tasks accordingly.
Annoyingly, George had reminded me that we were looking for average speed, not speed per se. We added structural integrity to the success criteria. I mean, would you want to ride a 'coaster that wobbled side-to-side? I thought not.
On to the actual 'coaster design. I would say that Team 1 went for a classical design, long straight, steady but steep rise, followed by a dramatic fall and, of course, a loop. I'm less convinced that you thought through the energy transfers - the conversion of Max PE to Max KE took place over a short distance, coupled with a long straight of relatively high friction meant that your car came to a stop pretty quickly.
Team 2 went for a more adventurous design, but structurally less sound, I believe.
George put on display a countdown from the last 5 minutes and there was a flurry of activity in the last 5 minutes.
Oh, I think next session, much more needs to be done on the poster front.
In the end, Mrs Slyfield and I decided that you should have an extra hour to finish these off, so next thursday will be the decider.
Only one team will win.
On the whole though, I enjoyed the process. I thought you worked well, but could have spent more time actually designing on paper, the 'coaster. See the pictures above.
A round of applause please for Mrs Slyfield - she had the room beautifully prepared for us.
The Roller Coaster challenge is this Thursday, usual location P6 and after school.
That means that you will miss your usual P6 lesson and go directly to Mrs Slyfield's room at the start of P6 (after Break 2).
Make sure that you get there on-time. You will get further instructions on arrival.
This is a competition with a very special prize for the winning team, so start thinking about:
1. Fast Roller Coaster Design (energy transfer)
2. Aerodynamic Roller Coaster cars
3. Team-work (listening, contributing, etc..)
MAY THE BEST TEAM WIN AND GOOD LUCK!!
We are very fortunate indeed to have been given the opportunity to travel to Pangbourne and visit BP HQ for a day. We will hear from alternative fuel specialists and somebody who knows a great deal about racing solar cars. I am very much looking forward to this, since we all know just how challenging solar energy is to make effective.
Participation on this trip will be based on attendance; since we will be taking 18 students, those with the highest attendance will attend.
Mrs Slyfield and I are about to unveil the much awaited Roller Coaster challenge, details of which have been kept a secret due to the special prize on offer.
Let me give you all a hint though: if I gave you 1000 coaster pieces and asked you make me the fastest coaster possible (timed event using the same car) using ALL the pieces, what would it look like? what would energy transfer have to do with it? At what point would the aerodynamics of the coaster car have an effect? How could you streamline the car?
Hmmm... start thinking
We are very proud to announce our very new project: The Rocket Club.
EmmTech have agreed to split into two groups - half the club will continue to develop the solar cars and the other half will focus on rockets.
Mrs Slyfield is off to the University of Southampton this Saturday to learn about rocket cars and other rocket stuff. Thank you very much Mrs Slyfield for giving up your Saturday!
Let's begin with solar cars:
1. we agreed not to become bogged down with the incident and reflective sun angles since we are dealing with a lot more than one ray (even if your text book usually shows one ray)
2. we agreed that any form of reflection onto the solar panel would be a good thing
3. we agreed to trial water bottles - can you ensure that you bring one empty water bottle next Thursday?
4. we agreed to raise one end of the car - you need to design and make (in Dt) some sort of box which raises the axle beyond rubbing against the plastic.
The Rocket Lot made good progress since so much of the background work had already been done - thanks to George and Cal for the background stuff.
What a fantastic experience! What a picturesque drive through The New Forest and I can honestly say, Beaulieu is a gorgeous quintessential English village.
We set off promptly at 9.00am and got to Beaulieu just before 11.00am; Roger was ready to for our guided tour and informative lecture about the history of Formula 1. You'll recall him saying that aerodynamics really took hold from around the '60s, when downward forces were carefully considered.
Some of the early Formula cars (remember the early English racers and the 'Ital'?) were basic; huge engines, crude braking, timber wheels and paltry top-speeds. As time progressed, we saw smaller engined (early F1 capped to 1500cc) and more sophistication - so called 'flappy paddle' gear change.
Can anyone remember how 'british racing green' came about?
I was literally gob-smacked at the 550bhp BRM car (the one that never won a single race because it had so much torque, its wheels spun in each gear and power was never adequately transferred to the tarmac).
I also enjoyed a walk through memory lane, reminiscing over some of the rally championship cars of the '70s and '80s - the early Fords (with Cosworth engines), Audi's famous Quattro and of course, mini cooper.
Oh, by the way, I thought we were the smartest dressed in our uniform by the way. The 'other' schools chose to arrive casually attired and looked scruffy, in my view. Your appearance and behaviour was one reason why Roger let us climb over the barriers, and peer into the cockpits of £4 million cars.
See you all Thursday.
David Garlowsky is back in school on the 22nd April to train the EmmTech teachers. You guys will recall that we did the Solidworks training last term.
This is the term that we will make and race our solar cars in teams, so it promises to be an exciting time. The fact that we will launch our club as a solar car race spectacle makes it all the more competitive.
On a completely different note, I am quite interested in Rockets and have been for years
When I completed my Master's in Astrophysics, I won a fellowship with The Royal Astronomical Society in London. I used to dream of going into space (I know that my parents also wished the same..). The R.A.S. is an amazing place - if you're interested, we can pay a visit to Burlington House - let me know.
I have asked Geroge to look into the possibility of purchasing motorised, single stage rockets. We would love to run a Rocket Club alongside the solar car stuff. Can you imagine a Rocket race? Can you imagine a grand launch at, say, Tirabad?
Tell me what you think about Rockets and the idea of a Rocket Club.
One more thing, we will be having the Roller Coaster Challenge - the idea being that all teams have an equal number of components and have to design and make the fastest coaster. There will be a suitable prize for the winning team. I have already hinted to one team member what that prize might be. Put it this way, it's not a paper hat...
Departing 9.00am (prompt)
Return 4.00pm at Emmbrook (traffic dependant)
All forms will be handed-out on Thursday (23rd April) AND MUST BE SIGNED BY PARENT/GUARDIAN and returned to me in L6 by Friday (24th April). That means you have Thursday evening ONLY to get it signed!
You will not be able to go on the trip unless I have the form signed and returned by Friday morning, so do your duty!