Maintaining Momentum

We are now approaching our first half term and I am pleased to say that the Space theme is maintaining its momentum in school. The ISS is approaching completion, thanks to the sterling work from Mrs Woollam and there are excellent displays surfacing around school.

This Monday, Year 5 had fun looking at how difficult and tiring it is to actually negotiate your way around the space station. We used a chair with casters on and tried to move forwards or backwards without touching the floor. Some children were able to turn the chair round, but it proved almost impossible to make much headway. All they could do really was turn in circles.  And, when the children stopped moving, so did the chair.

This proved an excellent opportunity to introduce Newton’s First Law of Motion – an object won’t move unless a force acts on it. In order to move around the space station, astronauts have to pull or push against an object. Once moving, they then have to exert another force to stop themselves. Obviously this becomes very critical if you outside of the space station.

Anyway, the activity caused some hilarity and hopefully some understanding of the difficulties facing astronauts.

That afternoon, Mrs Ross (our IT team member) and I visited Jodrell Bank where we had an appointment with the Education Team. The purpose was to show our space passports and persuade them to develop some bespoke workshops for us – specifically one involving radio waves. The meeting seemed to go very well with both Julia and Jamie enthusiastic about what we are doing at Rode Heath. I am hopeful that we might be able to take the Year 4s to try out a radio workshop at the end of the spring term.

One thing that this project has taught me is the almost limitless range of possibilities available when it comes to the subject of space. The difficulty is trying to decide which ideas to use and how to allocate them appropriately – oh, and teach at the same time. Fortunately, I have been given time this week by our supportive head to actually sit down and try and organise my thoughts.

I am hoping that we will be able to produce a series of useful folders for each year group that will act as a collection of lesson plans/resources and examples of work for any other schools wishing to take up our project in the future.

Oh, I nearly forgot! The 3D printers and scanner turned up at the end of the week. Read next week’s blog to see how we got on trying to set them up.

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