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November 14 2012 | Views: 2268
Kent and Medway
The year 2 pupils at Callis Grange infant and nursery school were given a difficult challenge by a group of Science Ambassadors. The National Curriculum expects pupils of that age to be able to build a circuit but this challenge was to build three circuits in order to make a set of traffic lights each with its own switch. This would pose a problem for a year 11 GCSE pupil never mind a year 2 pupil! Yet that is what each child achieved, working individually, thanks to some amazing conducting play dough. One young lady exclaimed ‘this is the best thing I have ever done! The pupils used coloured LEDs, light emitting diodes, so they were careful to place them in the circuit the correct way round. On hand to make sure they were on the right track were some scientists from Pfizer and Instro-Precision Ltd, a nuclear engineer from Babcock International and some amateur radio enthusiasts from Hilderstone radio club.
LEDs are more energy efficient than filament lamps and they can be easily controlled. At the end of the session the pupils were shown a microprocessor controlling three LED traffic lights automatically and they helped to program the microprocessor to increase the time the green LED came on. The microprocessor was then programmed to make two green dragon eyes, which turned red if you got too close!
The science activity was such a success that the school is hoping the scientists will return next year to explore forces with the pupils.
Written by John Hislop who organised the event
STEM Ambassadors – a FREE resource for your school
There are over 750 ambassadors representing a wide range of STEM occupations, companies and organisations across Kent and Medway Region. If you would like STEM Ambassadors to support a lesson, event or challenge in your school please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.