Tuesday, 7 March 2017

NEM: Super Engineers!

March is National Engineering Month and we celebrated this week by taking part in the Engspire "Super Engineers!" program. Engspire provided us with a complete meeting-in-a-box - all we had to add was scissors and pencils. We received a complete set of instructions, all supplies needed to complete the activities, and a crest for each girl.

As the girls arrived, they completed their Dues books and checked their Patrol Notebooks. Some Patrols were asked to finish their Patrol activity planning from last week, while others were asked to work on making birthday cards for the 30th Anniversary of Rainbows (5-7 year olds in the UK) for the birthday card exchange.

We had our usual opening ceremony and then moved right into our activities.

The Super Engineers program uses a story line about the group escaping from the lair of an evil genius to tie the activities together:

After an epic battle the evil genius has managed to take you and your team of Super Engineers captive and is keeping you in the dungeon of a castle, on a top secret island! How can you use your collective engineering skills to escape his evil clutches before he returns and feeds you all to his pet shark?

 Activity #1: Electrical Engineering

First things first, it's pretty dark down here in the dungeon; we could do with some light to see if we can find a way out! You feel around in the dark and find some lightbulbs, a car battery and some foam and plastic pieces. How can you use these items to create a light to find the door?

Each girl built their own working flashlight using an LED, CR2010 battery, foam sheet and card.  We learned the right way to connect an LED and how circuits work. 
Activity #2: Software Engineering

Success! Now we can see around the dungeon and discover that there's a single door at one end and it's not even locked! You're about to rush out when you get a funny feeling something's not right. Next to the door you see what looks like a map of the castle showing the way out! The only problem is that also on the map are some symbols showing obstacles which will definitely cause you to be caught, or worse. Before setting out you decide to figure out your route to make sure that your whole team stays safe and also decide that the instructions should be written in code just in case you're captured!

The girls were divided up into groups of 4 and given a code sheet. They had to follow the instructions and write out coded directions to make it through the room. 




Activity #3: Mechanical Engineering

You race outside of the cellar and escape from the castle only to find yourself looking out over an ocean. The lair is on an island. Off to one side you can see some land. You're just about to jump in and swim to safety when you see a fin sticking up out of the water - sharks! If you go in the water you're sure to be dinner! That means we have to go over. 
Strewn across the beach you find some driftwood and old ropes, how can you use this to get to safety before the evil genius discovers your escape?

Each girl was provided with a plastic spoon, 6 popsicle sticks and 5 elastic bands  and challenges to create a catapult to propel themselves (a large pompom) away from the island. A wide variety of catapults were created!
After cleaning up, we discussed the activities the girls had taken part in and learned about different types of engineering, We ended by handing out badges and closed with Taps.