Pupils from Year 5 and 6 at Appleby Primary School have embarked on an exciting project as part of learning in Science and Computing.
Pupils will participating in the First Lego League - a global initiative with participants in 100 countries aimed at inspiring the science and technology leaders of tomorrow. Pupils are supported by their class teacher, Nicola Willacy and a STEM ambassador through Cumbria STEM and the University of Cumbria. Dr Allan Green is a local scientist with over thirty years experience in the field of cancer research.
The first stage of the project has seen pupils construct their own robot equipped with light and motion sensors and an array of technological sensors. The robot is programmed remotely from a computer and pupils have been getting to grips with coding in order to control the robot to fulfill a range of tasks and functions.
Concurrently with the robotics project, pupils have also set up a project management group who will research, develop and present and engineering scheme to tackle a real-life problem. Supporting the school's creative approach to cross-curricular learning, pupils have used geography and ICT lessons to research the issue of flooding; a very real challenge faced in Cumbria and particularly in Appleby. Pupils have also spent time in English lessons to write to a range of experts locally and nationally.
Children have been very excited this week after they were contacted this week by an unlikely source. Doctor Paul Chapman is a senior fellow of the Said Business School and lecturer at Oxford University. Dr Chapman sits on the Board of the Association for Project Management and Chairs the Professional Knowledge and Standards Committee. He has worked closely with the government and private sector organisations on a range of national flood prevention schemes. Doctor Chapman was so impressed by the letter that he received from pupils that he has not only agreed to support them but has requested to join their project team which he will do via Skype from Oxford University.
Class teacher, Nicola Willacy, said: "At Appleby we are always looking at ways to bring children's learning to life and challenge pupils' aspirations. This project has really inspired our children and I am thrilled that they are so excited and engaged."