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STEM Programmes

All Geared Up All Geared Up

Please see the Planning Your Visit page for entrance and workshop prices


All Geared Up

Build and test a simple gear system.

The workshop begins with a demonstration of how a propeller works and introduces the idea of a gearing system between the engine and the propeller. Pupils work in teams to construct a simple gear system to turn a propeller. They will then investigate the system through a range of calculations including the gear ratios, efficiency and speed of tip of the propeller. Pupils will be encouraged to apply knowledge gained to consider problems such as, what happens if the propeller is on back to front or the system is run in reverse? A demonstration at the end of the session will allow pupils to discover the answers to these problems.

Curriculum Links:

  • Mathematics: ratios, percentages and unit conversion
  • Design & Technology: understand mechanical systems

Mission for Maths

Pupils will work in teams to plan a secret helicopter mission that requires teamwork and project planning skills within a strict time allowance. The task involves simple calculations, equations and an understanding of forces, motion, speed and velocity to solve the given problem.

Curriculum Links:

  • Science: forces and motion
  • Mathematics: measurement, using scaling factors and unit conversion
  • Geography: map reading skills

Parachutes

Teams design a parachute to drop vital supplies.

Teams are given basic materials with which to design and make a parachute to drop vital supplies (ie an egg) undamaged onto a dropzone. Pupils will need to calculate the loading on the parachute and the average speed at which it descends.

Curriculum Links:

  • Science: forces and motion
  • Mathematics: percentages and measurements to allow calculation of surface area
  • Design & Technology: solve design problems, test and evaluate product

Fixed Undercarriages

Teams design, manufacture and assemble undercarriage structures and test them to destruction.

This workshop begins with looking at the geometry and materials used to make strong but light undercarriages on aircraft in the museum. Pupils will need to work in teams to create a model of an aircraft undercarriage that will be tested to destruction, to discover the maximum load it can carry. To be successful teams will need to allocate roles within the team to create a production line, helping to develop communication and teamwork skills.

Curriculum Links:

  • Design & Technology: design and build structures exploring how to improve strength and stability
  • Science: forces and use of scientific vocabulary

Retractable Undercarriages

To design and build a 2 wheeled, powered, retractable undercarriage for a naval aircraft.

Pupils will develop their understanding of hydraulics, levers, forces and pressure as they design a powered, retractable undercarriage. To help inform their design, the workshop begins with a short tour to investigate undercarriages on display in the Museum.

Curriculum Links:

  • Design & Technology: design and make a product that solves a real problem
  • Science: energy changes and transfers. Forces and motion, in particular moments
Prepare to Launch Prepare to Launch

Prepare to Launch

Design, build and test an aircraft to operate from an aircraft carrier.

This hands-on session begins with an introduction to the forces of flight and the importance of design to stable flight. Pupils will design their own aircraft and build it from a range of balsa wood templates. Flight tests will be carried out from a moving aircraft carrier model, and pupils will have to measure, record and evaluate the success of the flight. As part of working scientifically, pupils will need to repeat their investigation making improvements based on their initial results.

Curriculum Links:

  • Science: forces, energy conservation and working scientifically
  • Design & Technology: design, construction, trial and improvement leading to evaluation of overall design
Investigating Turbines Investigating Turbines

Investigating Turbines

Create and test turbines to discover the most efiicient design.

The workshop begins within an introduction to how a turbine works. Pupils will work in teams to develop an enquiry based investigation into find the most effective turbine design. There are two options (please enquire when booking) for investigating the efficiency of the turbines created. Teachers should select the one that best meets their learning objectives. Teams will present their conclusions at the end of the workshop before competing against each other to discover the ultimate turbine design.

Curriculum Links:

  • Science: working scientifically, forces and motion, current electricity and renewable energy
  • Design & Technology: design, construction, trial and improvement leading to evaluation of overall design

How does a Helicopter Work?

Design, build and test an autogyro to discover how a helicopter works.

The workshop begins with a short tour of the helicopters in the Museum focusing particularly on the shape of rotor blades. Pupils will then work in teams using a kit of pre-prepared helicopter blades to assemble an unpowered helicopter (autogyro). They will try various blades, sizes, numbers and diameters to achieve the slowest and safest rate of descent for the team's teddy bear. Pupils will need to measure and record the time it takes for their autogyro to reach the target mat.

Curriculum Links:

  • Science: forces, working scientifically, and use of scientific vocabulary
  • Design & Technology: design, construction, use of basic tools, trial and improvement leading to evaluation of overall design
  • Maths: measuring and recording

Ejection Seats

Design, build and test an ejection seat.

This workshop begins with an introduction into ejection seats and the forces acting on a pilot. Pupils will have to work together in teams to construct a model ejection seat kit. Tests will be carried out to assess the quality of build and whether they can launch pilot Ted from his aircraft.

Curriculum Links:

Science: working scientifically, forces and motion and energy changes

Design & Technology: design, construction, use of basic tools, trial and improvement leading to evaluation of overall design

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