As part of its programme to turn younger children on to science, Melanie Buckley, a Building Services Engineer and Sustainability Consultant at Method Consulting, and one of its STEM ambassadors, spent time talking about science to Reception and Year 1 classes at Robert Le Kyng Primary School in Swindon. She then led experiments to help them apply what they had learnt.
The Reception class of five-year-olds looked at a milking parlour and used a rubber glove with pinholes for the children to ‘milk’. They looked at the effect of the size of the hole on milking speed and measured what they had collected. They then split into four groups to form chains to pass the ‘milk’ along to look at the concepts of volume and losses in transit. The children so got into the spirit of the experiment that hardly a drop was spilled.
The Year One group used a popular children’s book, The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch, in which a lighthouse keeper’s lunch is winched up by pulleys, as the basis of an experiment. Melanie used climbers’ carabiners to demonstrate the principles of how pulley systems work and allowed the children to evaluate how different arrangements help, to different degrees, with lifting.
“I’m a strong believer that if you can get children interested in science early on, it can play a big part in giving them a positive attitude towards it through school and after. I think that it’s particularly true of young girls.” said Melanie. “I was so impressed at the way the children, girls and boys, threw themselves into it with such enthusiasm. It was fun, and very rewarding for me too.”
Swindon-based Method Consulting is a group of sustainability professionals with a common goal: to reduce the environmental impact of buildings, through sustainable engineering design and advice. Method’s team is largely comprised of Building Services Engineers and Sustainability Consultants. Two of Method’s partners are STEM Ambassadors, Melanie Buckley and Natasha Fox.
STEM Ambassadors encourage young people to enjoy STEM subjects. They also support teachers in the classroom by explaining current applications of STEM in industry or research. STEM Ambassadors contribute to their local community and include engineers of all disciplines, as well as people from all walks of life.
For information about STEM ambassadoring, contact Melanie Buckley on 01793 836623 or email Melanie.Buckley@methodllp.com
Pictured above: Melanie Buckley of Method Consulting