Portsmouth High School hosted nine visiting primary schools from the local area this week for a Technology Challenge Day.
The Year 5 and 6 girls were challenged to design, build and test a sustainable transport system which involved them in thinking, planning, constructing and presenting on the day.
Girls from Gomer Juniors, Hart Plain Juniors, Highbury Primary, Mengham Juniors, Northern Parade, Portsmouth High School Juniors, St Georges Beneficial, St Judes and Wimborne Juniors took part.
The girls were told that an eco-friendly train is required for a new bridge link from Gunwharf to Gosport. Their task was to create the travel company branding and design a vehicle carriage that will run on the test track.
Mr Graeme Field, Assistant Head and Head of Design and Technology at Portsmouth High School said:
‘This is a fabulous opportunity for Year 5 and 6 girls from local junior schools to compete together to solve a real life challenge. They were set a really difficult task to design the monorail train but also to think about how their rail company would be promoted.’
‘If we did build a monorail it would take a lot of time to design it and design the track,’ said Evie High from Gomer Junior School. ‘But we’ve learned today that it is possible; anything is possible.’
Sarah Isher from St George’s Beneficial School added:
‘Keeping the balance was really hard, as the carriage kept tipping to one side on the bend, but we managed to achieve it in the end.’
‘It was a really exciting day,’ said Alesha Plant from Highbury Primary.
‘I liked designing and seeing how everything worked and realised the car needed equal weight for it to go around the track. I really will think about a job in design and technology now.’
Mr Yalden, who accompanied Hart Plain Junior School, said:
‘This is an excellent opportunity to introduce the girls to the wonderful field of engineering. They have learned team work, planning and thinking about the order in which to do things. It has huge benefits for all the girls.’
‘It’s about the team work,’ said Beatrice Oliver from Portsmouth High School Junior School. ‘You couldn’t do it on your own. It’s all about the planning and working together.’
The teams then had to present their ideas to a panel of judges to gain funding for the development of the transport company. Two judges, Andrew Webb, a, local consultant with experience in energy, engineering and technical projects and Dr Rinat Khusainov, a lecturer, from the University of Portsmouth’s School of Engineering formed the panel.
‘There are some natural engineers in the room,’ said Mr Webb. ‘We have seen some great innovations and you all have learned to persevere and keep up your enthusiasm which is exactly what you need for the world of work. We are also impressed with the amount of environmentally friendly ideas that you used.’
The winning team was Mengham Junior School with their presentation on the Mengham Mono-Star.
‘Mengham had an excellent presentation and a superb model.’ Said Dr Khusainov. ‘They considered lots of factors including aerodynamics and safety features well beyond the initial brief.’