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Hacking a toilet roll

Since the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year, you may have heard your child talking about 'hacking a toilet roll'.  Hacks stem from a fun, playful nature adopted by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston.

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Nord Anglia Education is proud of the partnership it has created with MIT and at STA we are looking at ways to promote these ideas and embed STEAM practices into our curriculum.

To kick start STEAM in the Primary School this term, every child from Reception to Year 6 was given a toilet roll and asked 'What can you make with it?'.  Working individually, in pairs, or small groups, students discussed their thoughts, made plans, considered the materials which were available and tried out their ideas to turn a simple toilet roll tube, which would usually be thrown away, into something prettier and more useful or practical.

The students created an impressive range of ideas - cats to catapults, pencil pots, penguins and houses, decorations and bangles. Students showed a high level of concentration  as they worked to a high standard. Some students went a step further, writing a description of their product, or instructions for how to use their creation, or producing an advert or poster to describe it.

There are lots of photos and examples of the students work displayed in the outside corridor which links the small quad and the year 6 quad, and outside Miss Sarah's classroom - watch this space for more STEAM projects...

Last week we also had two special visitors from MIT, Carole Urbano and Aimee Gillespie, who work at MIT to develop a series of in-school challenges. This year these are all about Superheroes and link closely to the work of three MIT professors. Primary will hold a Challenge Week in Term 2.2 so watch this space for more STEAM experiences....

Core to the collaboration are the reflections of MIT’s philosopy ‘Mens et Manus’, ‘mind and hand’, which calls for a hands-on approach to problem solving. Through this approach, our students will develop key transferable skills, such as flexibility, collaboration, creativity and communication, which can be employed across all academic subjects, and in future careers.

Pupils in Year 3 and in Year 6 had the opportunity to work with Carole and Aimee on a range of challenges which saw them discuss their ideas, research to deepen their understanding and present their findings in creative and interesting ways.

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