In this resource from Teachers TV, Primary STEM Ambassador Toby Oliver inspires and engages a Year Five class with a bridge building activity. Toby is a track engineer for London Underground who was inspired at school by his physics lessons and wants to help schools deliver engaging engineering lessons.
At Normand Croft Community School, science coordinator Maria Chappell and class teacher Emma Bird want hands-on activities to stimulate learning and to help raise standards in science.
Toby creates a buzz in the classroom by asking children to explore the forces created within bridges and allows them to physically experiment to support and strengthen their human bridges.
Toby then sets the children a challenge of making a bridge using straws. The bridges should use strong shapes and be able to carry different weights. A sense of competition between the children stimulates their engagement with the task and supports their learning.