Following the Dyson project, where talented engineers from Years 3-6 dismantled and re-assembled a hoover provided by the James Dyson Foundation, one group of Year 6 children took on an engineering project inspired by this. They were given the problem of designing and building a prototype which would solve a problem: 'How to help children who find it hard to focus in lessons.' The group, consisting of Emily, Ella, Miniah and Mafalda, came up with the idea of a Focus Box which would sit on the desk space. Inside their Focus Box was space for an exercise book and a pencil holder. The girls chose to add a circuit to the design and placed a switch inside the box to allow the student to turn on a light if they were stuck. Their reason for this was to allow students to ask for help without being distracted by having to wait with their hand in the air. "This means they could move on to the next question while their light was on and go back to where they got stuck once an adult arrived." Considering convenience, they created their prototype in a way which would fold down into an easy-to-carry box (as seen in the picture!)
They were then tasked with creating a presentation to explain their design and how it addressed the problem. This involved researching similar designs already on the market (which they found hard because there was little out there similar to this idea!) They researched costings if they were to make their prototype into a finished product and used this information to set a realistic price - after much debate between themselves about profit and cost, whilst remaining affordable! Finally, they filmed a short advert to promote their product. The girls scripted, acted and produced it themselves, including the filming of it. Although Mafalda moved countries during the time they have been working on this project, the other girls were very pleased to use her clips in the final advert to show the hard work she also put into the project.
Today, the girls were proud to present their presentation, prototype and advert to Miss Lovelock. Not only their engineering skills, but also their creativity, teamwork and problem solving has been a joy to watch and they have given up lots of their own time to complete this. Congratulations girls and I look forward to seeing it in the shops one day maybe!