Our four new learning resources involve a series of visits from Ambassadors who guide students through hands-on activities using simple but ‘real world’ applications of technology, engineering and science to solve problems. They’re designed to be easy for you to incorporate into your teaching programmes in Maths, Science and Technology curriculum areas, and help link these subjects to a range of future career opportunities.
The first of these programmes, the Flying Fox Challenge, is now ready for you to use in your classroom, having been trialled by a number of enterprising teachers in South Auckland schools. The Flying Fox Challenge fits into the Maths curriculum and involves three or four connected interactive sessions.
The first activity requires students to interpret contour lines on a topographic map to identify a suitable location for a flying fox, then they learn about site measurement and estimating heights and distances in the second session. Next comes a session on planning the build, testing calculations for the height of the poles and length of cable, and estimating costs. The fourth session involves building models of the different flying fox designs.
Tangaroa College was one of the schools that trialled the programme, with civil and environmental engineers from AECOM, Harrison Grierson and Opus leading the first sessions and product development engineers from Fisher & Paykel Healthcare helping with the modelling activity.
“The activity was fun and all of the students were involved. The Ambassadors for the first two sessions made the connection between maths and the flying fox challenge,” commented host teacher Shanthi Mathews. “The introduction given by the product development engineers was really good. Most of the engineers the students came across were civil engineers and it was good for them to get an opportunity to interact with engineers who had specialised in a different field.”
Science teachers Priya Delana and Luseane Masima at Southern Cross Campus helped us pilot a water resources-focused Sustainable Futures activity. Ambassadors from Watercare, Veolia Water and beverage company Lion introduced the different jobs involved in treating and purifying water for homes and manufacturing, and the students made and tested their own simple water filters.
“Many of our students don’t know the infrastructure around water so we thought this would be a good opportunity to bring a local context,” explains Priya. “[South Auckland Facilitator] Renée has come up with this pilot programme and she’s been amazing! I would encourage science teachers to get in touch with Futureintech if they haven’t already.”
We’re also working on an Energy Bot resource that links the Technology and Science curricula. Students learn about forms of energy and energy transformations, conductivity, and how to make simple circuits. In the third session they each construct a simple ‘bristle bot’ using a small vibration motor, a button cell battery, and a toothbrush head. They are then able to challenge each other to ‘bot’ races.
The fourth programme is Pasture to Plate, which is being developed to be cross curricula and involve agricultural scientists, food technologists and other Ambassadors who work in food production, and will be trialled in the Waikato. If you would like to be part of this pilot, please contact Waikato Facilitator Stacey Bailey: firstname.lastname@example.org