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Hobbs Hill Wood Primary School

Improving outcomes for all our pupils through high quality teaching and learning

6GB Design Technology Structures Afternoon 2018

As part of our work on Victorians, we did a little bit of structural engineering. 


The afternoon started with us getting into six randomised groups - thank you 'Bag of Truth'. Then, armed only with newspaper and sellotape, we had the challenge of making the tallest free-standing structure possible.


I would like to say that this challenge was a tremendous success, with all groups making amazing towers, stretching to the ceiling and beyond...unfortunately that would be playing a bit too loose with the truth.


As usually happens with this task, many groups got a bit too greedy in the final moments of construction; their bases could not take the extra strain and what was once vertical, soon became horizontal! Only one group ended up with a free-standing structure of any height and were crowned winners by default! 


We then looked at some pictures of Victorian structures and focused on their use of triangles to add extra stability. It turns out that triangles were key to their bridges, buildings and piers.


The second task was one of strength: who could build the strongest structure, capable of holding up a dictionary at least 20 centimetres above the ground? The same rules applied - sellotape and newspaper only. 


Could the children use their knowledge of triangle to succeed? Only time would tell...