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Physics in motion

Princes Risborough Partnership goes full STEAM ahead making straw rockets.

Published: 24 July 2023

Earlier this month, Princes Risborough Partnership marked the end of their first partnership year with a family learning night. Thirty pupils across the nine partnership schools joined the event along with their families to learn about forces, drag and streamlining.

Allan Read joined the event from the BloodhoundSSC land speed record project and enthralled the students in Years 5 to 8 with his STEM background and ability to bring the curriculum to life through the excitement of real-life engineering and a land speed record car. One attendee in Year 5 was so impressed with the explanation and demonstration of an engine that he now wants to be an engineer, saying “I hadn’t thought much about going into STEM but Allan said there are over 2 million job vacancies and I think using forces to propel a car would be a great job.”

“Through this partnership, we want to improve awareness of opportunities in physics with outreach events and improved curriculum development,” explains partnership co-ordinator and Head of Science at The Kingsbrook School, Katy Bisset. “This was our first big partnership outreach event and involved students from across the partnership. We were thrilled to see so many students bringing their parents and carers despite it being at a very busy time of year.

“The children involved loved Allan’s talk,” continues Katy. “They were able to teach their parents about drag and streamlining and everyone got stuck in creating their own straw rockets. Competition was fierce and the parents especially worked really hard on their rockets! The furthest rocket, using just the power of the breath, went almost 10 metres!

Karen Hodgetts, Regional Rep for the Ogden Trust, joined this outreach session: ‘The rocket themed family night event was a great way to show how engaged parents and carers can be with their children’s learning,” enthuses Karen. “The interactions between all the different ages was a real delight to see and everyone showed a great deal of determination and resilience in their building and testing of their paper rockets to be ‘The Best’!!”

Two people (one adult and one child) seated at a desk making paper rockets - they are using tape, scissors, straws and paper

Ogden school partnerships 

The Ogden School Partnerships programme provides five years of funding, support and CPD for schools who want to work together to enhance the teaching and learning of physics. Applications for new partnerships open each year between September and February.

You can find out more by visiting the partnership pages on this website

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