British Hovercraft Company provides an AIRmazing Experience to conclude Deal Parochial’s Hovercraft STEM Project.

The British Hovercraft Company (BHC) got the whole of our school buzzing on Tuesday 29th March when they visited with one of their Hovercraft to help us conclude our Hovercraft STEM Project.

Mr Benn Bristow (Director and Chief Hovercraft Pilot of the Sandwich-based manufacturing company) flew the hovercraft around the school’s playing field, around goal posts and performing numerous spins, in demonstrations for both KS1/Year R and KS2 groups.  The children became even more excited when some of the teachers and TAs sat in the hovercraft to enjoy the thrill of the ride.

Earlier in the day, 10 lucky pupils, chosen for their outstanding engagement in our STEM project and science, each received a ride in the hovercraft. It was an awesome experience for each of them.

The BHC Hovercraft Experience concluded a Hovercraft STEM Project that we had been running for half of the month of March, encompassing British Science Week.  The project commenced with Mrs Hodgson running assemblies full of WOW science demonstrations to teach the children about air pressure, friction and Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion (i.e., Hovercraft-related science).  The STEM project then continued with our Caretaker, Mr Knight, guiding each of the KS2 classes in building their own sit-on hovercraft powered by a leaf blower (- this was made possible following a small grant from the Institute of Physics to purchase the leaf blowers and the materials). In the meantime, KS1 and Year R learnt further about air pressure by making syringe powered monster heads.

Raising the upper table by blowing into sealed food bags.
Pages from two books interleaved with each other, showing the strength of friction.
Ensuring an airtight seal for the edge of the plastic sheeting onto the base of the hovercraft.
Year 3 pupils, before assembling the different parts of their hovercraft.
Making air-powered monster heads in Year R on Comic Relief Day.

After the BHC Hovercraft demonstrations on the 29th March, many Year 5 pupils delighted in showing Benn their own leaf blower powered Hovercraft creation. The fun-filled day then finished with each KS2 class trialling their own hovercraft in the school hall.

Year 4 pupils trialling their hovercraft in the school hall.
Ms Brown and some Year 5 pupils with Benn Bristow from the British Hovercraft Company.

We are extremely grateful to Benn Bristow and the British Hovercraft Company for all their generous support of our Hovercraft STEM project. Our year 6 pupils are now looking forward to their factory tour of BHC in May.


Additional Note: We have now completed a photo and video montage showing our Hovercraft STEM project – to see it, please click here.