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Based intially upon our extremely popular Victorian Inventions workshop, our "Incredible Inventions" science workshop allows us to move outside the Victorian era to focus on some of the more modern inventions.
With a choice to look at four inventions from a range of six on offer, this is one of our most adaptable science workshops which can be easily matched to your curriculum and the needs of different classes.
The inventions to choose from are automobiles, aeroplanes, rockets, steam power, electric telegraph (morse code) or photography, which all come with a short presentation combining models, actual historic artefacts and HD video presentations before the pupils undertake a related activity as follows.
Power Stephenson's Rocket!
In an activity shared with our Victorian Inventions workshop, pupils experience the thrill of the development of steam power by reliving the magnificent Rainhill trials that launched Stephenson's Rocket into fame and paved the way for the growth of the railways.
After an introduction explaining the science behind steam power, pupils are told about the merits of each train from the Rainhill trials and vote via cheers on the likely winner, before meeting our working Stephenson's Rocket.
After this, the pupils take turns to power Rocket around our 25ft track, in a race against classmates.
Make and race rocket cars!
After a short introduction and video explanation of Karl Benz's first 1885 motorcar, we look at the development of the automobile into the 600 million plus vehicles worldwide that we recognise today.
The related activity for this invention involves pupils designing their own rocket car in either pairs or alone to race against fellow pupils. Several competitive challenges are then possible depending on your space and needs, from an aerodynamic challenge where pupils make wings to enable their car to run straight, to speed or distance challenges which are equally good fun and a great way to learn about the intricacies of car aerodynamics in one of the most fun activities in this science workshop.
Take a photo with a genuine Victorian 1880 lens!
In another activity shared with our Victorian Inventions workshop, we start by looking at a variety of genuine historical cameras, from an 1880 wooden bellows camera to a Kodak box brownie and a modern nikon DSLR, before moving on to dressing in Victorian clothes to take pictures of each other using the brass lens from the 1880 camera.
What is more, after the session you get to keep all your images to use for further work in class when the workshop is finished, while of course we delete the originals from our camera in accordance with our company child protection policy.
Launch paper planes with our electric launchers!
This activity starts with a look at the history of flight, starting with the first manned aeroplane flight by the Wright brothers in 1903 with the aid of detailed scale models and a video presentation.
This is followed by an explanation of Bernoulli's principle, which demonstrates how plane wings create lift in order to fly, before pupils embark on a quest to build the best paper aeroplane from a variety of supplied instruction sheets. This is then followed by an electric launch against classmates to see which plane design glides the furthest.
Use a real WW2 Morse Code set to solve a mystery!
This session begins with a look at the history of the electric telegraph, from its invention by Cooke and Wheatsone in 1838, through to the introduction of Morse code by Samuel Morse in 1844, and finally towards its use in both world wars in sending coded messages between the front lines.
Pupils then use our real WW2 telegraph set to send and solve a coded WW2 puzzle message together with their class mates.
If you are more interested in the WW2 use of this invention, it also features prominently in our Blitz School WW2 workshop.
Design and fire your own paper rocket!
Shared with our Rockets to Rovers workshop, this activity explores the forces of thrust, gravity and air resistance behind rocket power, beginning with an interactive presentation including HD videos of rocket launches.
This is followed by pupils making their own paper rockets to launch either skywards for a height challenge (weather permitting) or across the hall or classroom towards targets for an accuracy challenge.
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