The Rotary Club of Sleaford Kesteven has organised and run a Technology Tournament for Year 6 pupils at the Kirkby-la-Thorpe Church Of England Academy. Devised by Rtn (and ex-teacher) John Webster, the situation was that there had been a train derailment and a sensitive flask had to be retrieved from a stricken truck. The task was therefore to design and build a crane to retrieve the flask using materials provided. An added complication was to negotiate a low bridge that was in the way. All was done in small scale model form.
Equipment provided included an electric motor – which needed some gearing added – and the aim was to produce a wheeled truck, a method of delivery including battery power, a gearbox and a moveable jib for the crane to be able to pass under the low bridge.
Pupils worked in groups of four and produced five good cranes which all worked and completed the task in under one minute – the fastest being 25 seconds! During the day the pupils learned a lot of things including working as a group, methods of construction and how and why gearboxes are constructed and used.