‘Lift-Off’ Workshop

This summer U3 were treated to a fully immersive STEM experience entitled “Lift-Off” spanning three weeks of lessons in Science, Art and Computing devoted solely to the research, design and construction of model flying planes.

To give some historical perspective, girls first researched the natural evolution of flight in the animal kingdom before looking more closely at the first attempts by humans to become airborne. While production of the fuselage and tail plane began in Science lessons, in Computing, girls learned how to manipulate materials in 3D space using CAD software. In Art, the emphasis focussed on personal, aesthetic design of the main wings ensuring creative flare still produced enough lift to take the design upwards.

STEM is all about the interplay between academic subjects, their theories and hands-on application in the real world, so part of the challenge for U3 was to reflect on the thought process, teamwork, design, testing, failure and improvements. A winning example of this self-reflection captured on video can be found here.

Weeks of hard grafting in lessons culminated on Flight Day in the Sports Hall where all of U3 got a chance to fly their creations. Judging live on iPads, the aircraft and their pilots were graded on highest and furthest flights, lightest and best artistic design and on aerobatic manoeuvres.

Thanks go to the Science and Art technicians and to all staff who supported the initiative. Next year there may be scope for more flying and possibly some stop-animation. See more on Twitter