Year 5 were given the opportunity to design and build a fairground model that was controlled by a computer program when STEMworks scientist Simon Kettle visited the school.
The children were split into groups and were given the opportunity to use the control boxes and explore the computer programming software.
The day was filled with activities and provided excellent insight into how computer programming influences our daily lives. The course linked into the pupils’ current computing and design technology work. Callum Horsley from 5SM said:
Before lunch we were told about how to program the Knex models by using the computer program and then built a simple fairground ride. After lunch we made a more complicated version and then tested our models with lights and music. The most upsetting part was when we had to disassemble our models.
The children designed their own carousels or Ferris wheels, and wrote their own programs which made the models move. Knex construction kits were used, that allowed the pupils to experiment with structures, gears and other mechanisms whilst modelling their design. The children used laptops connected to control boxes and the ‘Flowol 4’ software to program their models. Rosie Lear in 5W enjoyed working with her friends:
The thing I liked most about Knex day was getting to work as a team on the fairground rides. Everyone took turns and it was extremely exciting looking at other people’s rides.
The day proved to be very successful, with the children gaining invaluable experience. Their level of concentration and interest was great to witness. George Brown from class 5SM had a great experience:
Knex day was awesome. First we learned how to control the computers. Then we made our own model, adding lights and music.