Like many households, we have gone back to home learning today after a half term break and it is safe to say the kids are not really feeling it.
I have found the key to helping them at home, is to vary the work. Lots of things are coming in from school, but it is mainly maths and english based, which isn’t always fun.
One thing that fell into my inbox last week, was how to make the ultimate paper aeroplane and I knew instantly that it would get the kids attention.
Thousands of aeroplanes may currently be grounded, but the excitement of flight is just a piece of paper away.
TV science presenter and STEM Ambassador Dallas Campbell has worked with engineers to share a design for the ultimate paper aeroplane. Requiring just a piece of A4 paper, a credit card (or similar) and a meticulous folding technique, children can achieve a true feat in aerospace engineering.
The plane really does fly and despite some breezy weather, it has made some impressive flights in and around the house. We even lost one on top of the flat roof because it flew so well.
Dallas, who has presented shows including Bang Goes the Theory, The Gadget Show and Stargazing Live, also explores other stories of amazing everyday-engineering in a new film. These include how engineers for bra manufacturer Playtex went on to design Neil Armstrong’s space suit (as well as the incredible engineering behind both items of clothing), plus how engineers created a bacon sandwich (with oversight from Heston Blumenthal) that could be taken into space at the request of British astronaut Tim Peake. The film is part of a range of home learning resources that have been made available for parents and teachers by STEM Learning at www.stem.org.uk/home-learning.
To complement the video, STEM Learning has shared ‘The Great British Space Dinner’ (lessons about food in space) and ‘Space Suit Science’ (creating your own space suit) to enable children and their parents to complete fun activities at home.
Suitable for all ages, from 4-19, STEM Learning has carefully selected more than 300 activities and materials from its bank of over 14,000 free resources to support teachers, parents and carers with home learning, with a particular focus on STEM subjects including science, computing and maths.
The home learning resources were launched last month by STEM Ambassador, Tim Peake who, in his short film for STEM learning, shared the secrets of loo roll use in space and news on how COVID-19 could affect the International Space Station.