Schools get the CSI treatment
Released: Friday 15th June 2012 at 11:52
Students turned into CSI super sleuths to solve a number of crime scene conundrums at the University of Sunderland.
Years 8 and 9 pupils from Castleview School, Farringdon Community Sports College, Washington School and Thornhill School were tasked with building robots, investigating forensics at crime scenes and building their own mini car.
The Wearside students, inspired by their favourite TV shows such as CSI and Top Gear, engaged and competed alongside each other before the winners were announced.
Tasks included measuring how far blood had travelled from the crime scene, building a mini car using plastic components and making their own robot manoeuvre a ramp in a straight line using Lego and batteries.
Reeves Campbell, year 8, Farringdon Community Sports College, said: “I loved the opportunity to finally learn more about the subjects, especially the more interesting aspects of science. I’m interested in all the chemicals that are used in forensic science and the maths that is used to help solve crimes.”
Fellow Year 8 pupil Ross Preston from Washington School, said the day had benefitted him in deciding his future career as he is thinking about working in engineering at Sunderland’s Nissan factory.
He explained: “We made a car go at a fast speed in an attempt to beat all the other teams by making it as light as possible. It’s a massive challenge because it’s hard getting all the pieces to fit and work together.
“Designing the car was interesting and focused me throughout the session, especially thinking about the intelligence that goes into making one and coming up with the plans. This knowledge will help me if I ever wanted to go into the car industry, especially if I wanted to go and work at Nissan, so I understand the basics of a car. If I get trained to do something like this then this could be vital information.”
Ethan Hedley, from Thornhill School, said he hoped the skills that he has been using and learning at the University can be transported back to the classroom to help him with his future exams.
The events took place at the Sir Tom Cowie Campus, St Peter’s, throughout the day (Wednesday, 13 June) from 10am until 2.30pm.
Sunderland Deputy Mayor Robert Heron and Deputy Mayoress Juliana Heron presented the awards to the winning teams.
The winners will now progress to the regional final which aims to engage pupils in complex problems, whilst raising their aspirations to study at university.
Jo Davison, science teacher at Washington School, said: “Most of the students we brought along are from our higher science classes. We are hoping it will help them with their problem solving, teamwork, thinking around the problem and apply the science and technological skills in different situations.
“I hope this offers them an insight into coming to the University of Sunderland, getting a feel for what it’s like and have a look around as well as raise their aspirations.
“Another benefit will be working with students from other schools and being able to share ideas, taking that back into the classroom at Washington and cascade that into our own learning.
The teams were mixed together to promote working with new people as they performed the challenges. The winners were Kathleen Wood from Thornhill school, Emma Clennell and Georgina Bryden-Patterson, from Castleview School. All three were in Year 8.
Deputy Mayor Robert Heron said,: “The problem solving skills that all the students have used will help them greatly in future, especially as they are working with students from different schools, people they don’t know. The way they have worked together has been absolutely brilliant and great to watch. They have shown that young people do not rely on working as individuals and value teamwork.
“The structure of all these challenges have been different. They are working on tasks and challenges that will all benefit them in the future. They are working with technology skills and electronics that are becoming so important and will continue to do so as they get older.”
The annual event is organised and run by MSC Projects Ltd, an educational supply company, and take place across the UK.