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Paper Rocket STEM Power- Making rockets at A.R.U.’s Family Science Day

Paper Rocket STEM Power- Making rockets at A.R.U.’s Family Science Day

 22 Oct 2021

On a sunny Saturday in September, our very own STEM ambassador (SA) Peter along with 21 willing STEM ambassador recruits, set up camp, inside a Geodesic dome tent. Armed with 400 paper rocket templates, the SA’s were ready as representatives of CSES (The Chelmsford Science and Engineering Society) for Anglia Ruskin University’s Free Family Science Day.

The (CSES) in conjunction with The STEM Hub organised different STEM-based tasks that visitors could take part in or interact with. These included building and launching a paper rocket, the ‘Earthquake Table’ which was programmed by a BBC Microbit, the IET (Institute of Engineering & Technology) torch kits and the ‘Egg Drop Challenge’.

It soon became clear that 400 paper rocket templates were not going to satisfy demand and another 400 templates were hastily printed on the day. This meant a grand total of 800 rockets were constructed by visitors of all ages, from toddlers to the over eighties. Once constructed the next step was to join the queue of excited participants for the rocket launch. Peter estimates they did around 1000 rocket launches, as some enthusiastic young people joined the back of the queue for a second go! Some of these launches pushed the paper rocket over 100ft into the air.

The STEM Hub received 23 responses from STEM Ambassadors wanting to share their passion, knowledge and skills with people of all ages. On the day a brilliant turnout of 21 SA’s gave up a Saturday to help with this event. While the SA’s may have been a little overwhelmed by the numbers of enthusiastic visitors, all agreed that it was a very positive and worthwhile experience.

Here’s some of the feedback from the SA’s.

  • ‘Really enjoyed the day and wished I could have stayed longer’
    Paul
  • The activity was great, the rockets and particularly the vertical launcher were a real draw! In fact I have every intention of using this as a reference point when I come to think about designing activities for our own Maths open days at Essex’
    Alistair
  • ‘It has been a pleasure joining the event last Saturday. It was great to see such attendance and the genuine interest of little ones made me feel very proud of our activities’
    Daniel