Sandcastle STEM Workshops

A hub bub of excitement permeated through the school as our Sandcastle STEM workshop was delivered to one class bubble at a time, during w/c 9th November.
The children became totally engaged in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths related to sand and sandcastles.
Initially, the children learnt where sand comes from, how all sand is not the same, and what sand is used for.  They were then amazed by the strength of water’s surface tension, which is crucial for holding the sand together in sandcastles.  
Later, the workshop progressed onto the apparent super powers of composite materials; the children were enthralled by a demonstration showing how the strength of ice can be significantly increased by adding torn up newspaper, so helping children to understand about composite materials, such as safety glass.
The workshop concluded with composite sandcastles made from layers of sand and kitchen roll. It was found that a normal sandcastle could hold 500g, whereas a sandcastle of the same size, re-inforced with layers of kitchen roll, could hold 3500g. Lots of children had fun having a go at building their own composite sandcastles, and Y5 determined that using layers of plastic mesh, instead of kitchen roll, produced even stronger sandcastle structures. The workshop finished with the building of a much more substantial composite sandcastle which children, and then staff, could stand on.