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Tall towers and turbines made by Walton girls in Grantham

Building weight bearing towers out of only paper was one task during the STEM day.
Building weight bearing towers out of only paper was one task during the STEM day.

Sixty year nine students at Walton Girls’ High School and Sixth Form built weight bearing towers and wind turbines as part of day of activities encouraging Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

The day was arranged by The Smallpeice Trust, which provides young people with hands-on engineering experience and is particularly keen to attract more girls into engineering by developing STEM.

Working in teams of six, the first task tested whether with just three sheets of A3 and A4 paper they could build a tower strong enough to support a 100N weight for ten seconds. Most groups succeeded but the winners - Lucy Appleton, Elysia Chettle, Millie Lamming, Jasmine Richardson, Kitty Smith and Zeta Hoyes - set a new record by building a 97cm tall tower.

The main activity was to construct a model wind turbine that could generate electricity. With a range of materials of different costs to choose from, the girls had three hours to build the turbine that could produce the highest voltage, within a £100,000 budget, as well as prepare a sales presentation.

In the end it was a draw between the creators of ‘Trevor the Turbine’, capabale of producing 1.523 volts for £94,500, and ‘Turning Turbines’ which produced 1.781 volts and came with an impressive sales pitch, but was over budget at £123,000.

The school thanked Tolulope Olajide from The Smallpeice Trust for a very productive day.


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