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Mayhill Junior School


Junior School


Volcano Escape Pods

Creating prototypes to solve a problem. 

On Thursday morning, we were set the challenge of designing a volcano escape pod for the citizens of Pompeii if Mount Vesuvius was due to erupt.

First, we learnt about pulleys and how these simple machines can change the direction of force to make it easier for us to move objects around.

Using our knowledge of pulley systems, we designed our prototype and then made it. It was tricky at times so we had to use our critical thinking skills to help us overcome any problems we had along the way. We were great at communicating our ideas with our team members and thinking together about how to overcome these problems.

We then had an additional challenge of including a light or buzzer system to show the people in the pod when it was safe to exit. We were able to apply our circuit making skills (we learnt about these in Science in the Autumn term) to create a system using tinfoil or paper clips on our pods to make the circuit complete.

Finally, we reflected on our own and others’ successes over the past two days and thought about what we would change next time to improve our prototype.