A report from Helen Jones, PGCE Primary student teacher.

One of the best days so far of my Primary PGCE! Oldcastle Primary School was taken over for a STEM week and we gave Year 6 the eggstraordinary challenge set by the Welsh Space Agency.  After being shown the recent disastrous Mars Rover landing, Year 6 needed a better design to safely land an eggstronaut, of course to budget and time!  The challenge had three part: firstly the survival of the eggstronaut; secondly the quickest rescue; and, lastly, the cheapest design. The countdown started and the construction began in earnest to protect their eggs with paper, balloons, string, cups and plastic bags.  Mission Control launched the eggstronaut from the third floor window and we waited with bated breath…..

Every eggstronaut landed safely, although a few did not survive an overzealous rescue!  The energy and learning in the room was second to none and with memories like these, I can’t wait for STEM week next year!

‘Egg-siting science! No yolk!’

Picture a cold and windy week in November 2016. Three intrepid PGCE students – Helen Jones, Liam Coupland and Amy Griffiths – and two tutors – Julia Jenkins and Lisa Fenn – were no longer linked to Cardiff Met. They, along with Sally Bethel (Head Rocket engineer) and Paul Herrington (aka Commander X), were security authorised personnel of the highly secret ‘Welsh Space Agency’ for Oldcastle Primary School STEM week. What followed was an assignment which could have been dangerous, groundbreaking…. but was incredible fun! For three days they worked with the children on ‘flight and space’ related problem solving tasks: Amy and Julia with Year 4 making kites; Liam, Julia and Lisa with Y5 building and firing gas powered rockets; and Helen and Julia with Year 6 aiming to safely land an ‘eggstranaut’! Will the ‘Welsh Space Agency’ return for another episode next year? You bet! We can’t wait!