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Pupils put together a strong challenge for K’NEX competition

Year 5 pupils got an insight into the world of engineering by taking part in a K’NEX Challenge this Wednesday held by local organisation, STEMworks.

Creations included zipwires, roundabouts, swings, balance bars and see-saw's.

The 9-year-olds were presented with a challenge which required them to work in teams to create a working model of their

solution using K’NEX construction kits.

The pupils were given the task of creating a new playground, accessible for all primary school children using at least one form of mechanism.

Working in pairs, the teams created some amazing creations including working swings, zip lines, see-saws, rope swings and even a climbing frame with built-in WiFi.

Different approaches were taken with some letting their imagination run wild and creating some large and complex creations, while others built more models that were smaller but had more mechanisms involved.

The teams were judged on a number of criteria including the models’ strength and mechanisms, their creativity, teamwork, problem solving and communicating their ideas to the judges.

After each pair had discussed what they liked about their creation, what they could improve, and their favourite model from the other teams, the judges decided on a winner.

Reuben and Maelys were selected the winners for their detailed array of playground equipment and will move on to the Gloucestershire K’NEX final later in the year.

STEMworks’ Head Judge, Alison Kelly, said: “The detail involved was fantastic and they were one of the only groups to receive no assistance all day!”

Fiona Auster, Head of Key Stage 2 at Rendcomb College, was delighted by the performance of the pupils. She said: “The teamwork on display today has been fantastic. I am incredibly proud of everyone involved.”

This years winners, Reuben and Maelys.

About STEMworks

STEMworks is a dedicated, not for profit organisation, who aim to generate excitement and enthusiasm for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths through a variety of activities such as workshops and competitions. Programmes are run in both secondary and primary schools which look to bring STEM businesses and education together. Through these links, employers can help raise the aspirations of young people and are able to be directly involved in initiatives which encourage young people to develop key skills required for the world of work.