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Building skills

Pupils feel the force and get hands-on with coding as they develop their science skills, problem solving and teamwork.

Published: 13 August 2022

This year, educational charity SATRO received funding from The Ogden Trust as part of their drive to update and improve their primary science programme. The funding supported the development and purchase of materials to update and develop new workshops on forces, magnets, science of health, structures and coding. They began delivering the new workshops at the end of the summer term and have already reached 100 pupils.

SATRO Managing Director, Anne Edwards explains more about what the workshops they delivered.

After an introduction to contact and non-contact forces, students at Frogmore Junior School participated in a carousel of four activities which allowed them to explore different forces and their effects. This included: testing the friction of different surfaces using toy cars; testing materials for magnetism and creating shapes with iron filings; using virtual reality headsets to investigate forces in real life situations; and using recycled materials to design a parachute to increase air resistance.

All of these activities gave the students an opportunity to get hands-on with their investigations of forces and to observe their effects on objects. One student commented: “I enjoyed exploring more about science and the magnets because it was powerful!” In the feedback, 89 per cent felt that they had generated ideas to improve something.

Pupils at St Thomas of Canterbury Primary School were able to use our ever-popular Lego coding kits as they learnt to build and code a racing car. They were then challenged to build an ocean plastic cleaner using what they had learnt. The workshop is not only about coding but also simple machines, gears, levers, pulleys and the transmission of motion.  Pupils needed to use feedback to identify faults and improve their models.

As with all our workshops, we used SkillsBuilder Framework to also develop and reflect on transferrable employability skills including problem solving, teamwork and staying positive.

SATRO is a Surrey-based educational charity inspiring young people in STEM, employability skills and vocational construction. Operating for nearly 40 years they deliver workshops, cross-school challenges, events and qualifications across South Central England. Last academic year they inspired over 10,000 students. Visit the SATRO website to find out more about the organisation and the work that they do.

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