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Women in Engineering Week 2021

International Women in Engineering Day was celebrated in lessons this year, with Year 7 and Year 8 taking on a series of engineering challenges.

Marshmallow towers

We were set the challenge of building a tower out of pasta and marshmallows. It was a bit tricky and ours did not go very well but I learnt a lot about structural engineering. Out towers were judged for elegance and strength, we had to build a nice but strong looking structure that was also strong! 

Since we did not have much experience, we looked at some classic designs and learned about cross bracing. We chose a structure we thought would work, drew a sketch of our tower then we worked together to build the tower. We used the marshmallows as glue and the pasta as frame. It held up a surprising amount!

Juliette 7K

Balloon cars

This challenge required us to make vehicles out of tape, cardboard, skewers, plastic wheels and axels. Firstly, we had to design our cars on a piece of paper; everyone had different and unique ideas, many of which were inspired by the work we have been doing in physics. After we had drawn our design on paper, it was time to start assembling the car. There were a few complications whilst building it and many balloons were popped in the process. Testing revealed the faults in our designs: this was a vital part of the process since it gave us the opportunity to see our cars in action and try and make them even better. Finally, it was time for the race – judged on distance travelled and appearance/structure. The winners for distance were Nina and Sofia, the winners for appearance/structure were Esme and Sophie C. Even though some cars crashed or didn’t move at all we all managed to learn something from this experience and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. 

Ira 7K

Egg parachutes

Mrs Edwards and Mrs Brudenell’s physics classes went head-to-head in the great SHSK egg drop challenge. This challenge involved the students working in teams to develop a reusable device that would securely protect an egg, dropped from height, with limited resources and a limited budget. Each team had to engineer their design within a tight budget, produce a design schematic and deliver an engineering briefing.

Teams were judged on their teamwork, their cost efficiency, their accuracy (nearest to the target), whether their egg survived the fall, the detail of their schematic, and their understanding of the underlying physics – as explained in their presentation. It was a fierce battle, with only 10 points separating the eight teams; so close that the final decision had to be made by a neutral adjudicator, Mrs Griffiths, who marked the schematics. Whilst a huge well done needs to go to all the students, in both classes, who embraced the challenge with such enthusiasm, there can only be one winner. The winning group came from Mrs Brudenell’s set; Amelie, Maddie, Isabel, Lottie and Alice: Golden Egg Trophies all round!

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