Aerodynamics Project 2014-15
We were very pleased to receive funding from Rolls-Royce (a member of Meadowhead Community Learning Trust) to run an after-school STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) group with 15 Y8 students and 5 Y10 students.
The STEM group designed and built a wind tunnel and used it to investigate aerodynamics, working together to model different shapes and test them in the wind tunnel to examine their aerodynamic properties, videoing the effects to refer to later. This gave the students experience of making and using a tool to aid design.
As part of this, the group learnt about wind tunnels, streamlining, land speed records and rocket-propelled vehicles and also got the chance to visit a research centre (AMRC - University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre). The students used what they learnt to design and build a small car, focussing on its aerodynamic properties. The completed cars (powered by carbon dioxide cartridges) were raced, with prizes awarded on the podium for the top three.
All our Y8 students learnt about streamlining as part of our key stage 3 Science curriculum (from January 2015) and they were set a STEM challenge to design and make a streamlined vehicle (car, plane, rocket) from craft materials. The vehicles were then tested by the STEM group using their wind tunnel and prizes awarded for the best efforts.
We aim to encourage Y10 members of the STEM group to consider engineering placements as possible work experience options. (We have several engineering companies on our Trust board who are able to offer this type of work placement).