One of the ways schools can deliver the TeenTech City of Tomorrow project is by running a one-day activity session which brings together students from several schools in an area to build a city in a day. TeenTech will provide all the templates and certificates, together with a suggested programme management plan and timetable of activity.
With a secondary school acting as the hub, it’s not only a fun STEM activity but also a great way to bring together students from feeder primaries so they can get a feel for big school and make friends.
On November 16th 80 Year 5 students from nine different primaries came to Park House in Newbury. The room was buzzing with excitement as students and teachers arrived with bulging bags of recycled materials.
Students were divided into teams of 3, with each team having an older Park House student as a mentor. The students chosen for this are all taking part in the TeenTech Awards so it was a great way to develop mentoring skills.
After a brief presentation to help students understand some of the issues and challenges, teams set about brainstorming ideas and creating their own buildings, thinking about the ways to make their city smarter, safer and more fun.
There was much excitement. When CEO TeenTech Maggie Philbin asked students if they’d ever walked into a building which made them feel excited, one Year 5 said ” Yes, this one. I was so excited to come here” “Why?” , asked Maggie. “Because I knew I was going to build a city”
STEM ambassador Colin Hemp was on hand to provide answers to questions.
The buildings produced were strikingly original. Teams worked on entertainment centres, hospitals, schools, future cafes as well as exploring exciting ideas for their ownhomes.
It was also an opportunity for pupils to show hidden potential. One teacher remarked that a boy who was not doing well in English or Maths was the one who not only came up with all the ideas for the building but also led his team with great effect – winning one of the categories and impressing the STEM ambassador with his strong creativity and problem solving skills.
Teacher Peter Marsham said:
“We were very excited to be given the opportunity to pilot the innovative TeenTech City event to a number of our local primary schools in West Berkshire and Hampshire. Seeing the young people turn their tremendous amount of recyclable materials into distinct, creative and thought-provoking models of future buildings was a delight to experience. What was absolutely key to the activity was the knowledge that they gained from the start of the sessions around creating sustainable, environmentally friendly and happy spaces really came out int he overall designs. It always amazes me how young people are able to push back the boundaries on what we might believe is impossible through their energy and collaborative working practices. It was amazing sight to see all the children working together in a vibrant and free atmosphere and inspiring each others’ designs simply by creating their own. With such fantastic feedback from children, teachers and parents there is no doubt that we would like to host this event next year.”
TeenTech will now offer follow on activity for the schools so students can take their ideas to the next stage.
Photos taken by Lucas, Student, Park House School.