Harton Puzzlers at the First Lego League 2017

After months of preparation, including: selecting new teammates; talking to water professionals, robot programming and reprogramming when things went wrong; survey taking, poster making and many more tasks, the day was finally upon us. On the 7th of December the Harton Puzzlers took part in the First Lego League’s Hydrodynamics challenge, as South Shields Museum.

We started our day with practises in ‘the Pit’, a room where all the groups were based. Our initial runs proved less successful than they were at school. Our first Robot challenge on the table gave us a score of 45 points. This was then followed by our technical talk – explaining our robot design and strategy for completing our table run.

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After a brief break in the Pit, we had to complete our presentation to the panel of judges. We talked through our idea to help the human water cycle – a water butt for using rain water to flush the toilet. We used bottles to show the amount of water it takes to flush a toilet (7.27L per flush!) and made a model made from Lego (obviously) to show how our design works.

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Next we had a long break until our next robot challenge, so we spent this time with half the group practising and altering the programming, and the other half talking to the other groups and getting them to take part in our Wayne Drop video game. They had to try and get Wayne from the clouds to our water butt, but avoiding leaves and birds flying past. Everybody got very competitive when playing and wanted to make it onto the leader board – including the organisers and Mrs Ratcliffe, when she visited us for support.

Our next robot challenge proved better than the first, with a new score of 50 points (5 were deducted because we had to pick up the robot from a mistake). Straight after this we had our ‘Teamwork’ challenge. We were given a task, to sort out a box of Lego and show how well we can work together as a team. This was followed by our final robot challenge with a higher score of 60 – missing out of 15 points from the tripod not landing in the desired position.

Here is the video of our final robot challenge:

We unfortunately missed out of the semi-finals – coming joint 5th – by only 5 points! We watched the semis and finals – with the Acers coming first!

The final part of our day was the presentations and awards ceremony. We did not win the day, however we did not come home empty handed. For our second year running, we won the Teamwork Trophy! Something we were incredibly pleased to achieve.

Our year 6’s are looking forward to a lunchtime outside, and the year 5’s will be keeping an eye out for the year 4 children they might want to join the team next year.

On Wednesday the 9th of November, the Lego League Harton Puzzlers had a visit from a water expert to help them with their Image result for hydrodynamics legoproject. John Robson from Northumbrian water listened to our ideas and helped us to develop them further.

 

We shared our idea of an ‘Eco-friendly’ toilet flush!

When it rains, the rainwater runs down the drainpipes and collects into a drum. We can then use the collected rainwater to flush our toilet.

John quizzed us on our ideas – for example, how would we get the water to an upstairs toilet?

We addressed this by installing a pump in the drum. John also helped us to extend this idea further – by suggesting we install a turbine in the drainpipe. This would allow us to generate electricity (meaning our product powers itself!).

Furthermore, we have the option to use a float in the drum. This will generate further power through the raising and lowering of the water: allowing our product work on renewable energy, and on a very small scale lowering CO2 use.

We have taken on board his ideas and developed our idea to match this expert advice, which we believe will make our product more appealing, eco-friendly and an overall better product.

Making a difference in school and out!

Members of the School Council have been busy working their magic again. Not content with making a huge difference to their local community, the children have turned their attention to how they might be able to help fellow pupils within school.

Members of the School Council explained in their recent meeting that the yard can, at times, be a lonely place for some children. It is not always easy to find someone to play with, especially when close friends are absent or are eating lunch. After a lengthy discussion of possible ways around this issue, the School Council decided upon installing a ‘Buddy Bus Stop’ in each yard. Children who are feeling lost and in need of a friend can come to one of the Bus Stops to receive the help that they need.

 

Y3R have been busy putting their column addition skills to use this week. Led by School Council member Sadie, the children collected all of the cans received as part of ‘Canny Friday’. Having counted the cans collected from each class, the children then worked together to find the total using column addition. They found that, last week, we managed to collect 234 cans for the South Tyneside Food Bank, bringing our total to an amazing 1013!

The children also used their knowledge of previous weeks to estimate the number of cans and dried foods that they expected to receive as part of our final ‘Canny Friday’ this week. They were excited to explain their reasoning. What would your estimate be?

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The School Council were pleased to show off their ‘Canny Friday’ efforts last week when the Shields Gazette visited the school especially to see their display. The children talked confidently about the project and the donations received so far. They cannot wait to give them to the South Tyneside Food Bank!

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Canny donations all around!

In addition to counting the total number of cans received for each Canny Friday, our School Council members have also been busy recording the total number of donations received from each year group. School Council member Keira suggested this at our last meeting and the other children agreed that this would be an interesting idea. Year 3 are even going to analyse some of this data in their maths lessons next half term!

 

Last week, the Year 4 children helped to collect and count the cans. Thank you to everyone for your generous donations. A particular thanks go to the children of Y3R, who managed 33 cans, and to Nursery and Reception. In total, the children and parents from our Foundation Stage donated 46 cans for the South Tyneside Food Bank.

 

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Definitely a Canny Friday!

The Year 6 School Council members had a busy Friday afternoon as they collected and counted all of the cans and dried foods brought in for Canny Friday. They were amazed to find that we had received 56 more donations for the South Tyneside Food Bank than the week previous. Jake was particularly pleased as he discovered that we had even managed to collect tea, coffee, UHT milk and several pasta sauces. These were all items that Maureen told us were in short supply at the food bank.

 

Our current total for Canny Friday stands at 554 cans, jars and packets. We’re looking forward to the next one (on Friday 24th March) already.

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Wow! 249 cans so far!

Our School Council members have been carefully counting your cans of food. They were thrilled to find that our first ‘Canny Friday’ resulted in 249 cans being collected for the South Tyneside Food Bank.

We’re looking forward to our next Canny Friday (17th March) already!

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Canny Friday!

This half term, our School Council are collecting donations of canned and other dried foods to help the South Tyneside Food Bank. Providing emergency food parcels for local individuals and families in crisis, the food bank is run by ‘Hospitality and Hope’. This is a Christian faith based charity that was established in 2002 to help support vulnerable individuals from within our community.Webpost_cansoffood

Donations of canned and dried foods for the food bank can be sent into school with your child each Friday. Our School Council members will be involved in sorting these donations, prior them being collected by the charity.

The first ‘Canny Friday’ will be held on Friday 10th March. The event will continue to be held, each Friday, until the end of term.

 

Wow!! What a day! Some of Harton Primary School choir have been to the Sage today to take part in ‘The Spring Sing’. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Performing alongside nine other schools from South Tyneside and Gateshead we tackled songs like: The Banana boat song, Bare Necessities and even some current material like ‘Home’ by the Foo Fighters.  Our favourite was probably “Our House’ by Madness.

When we arrived we had a lovely carpet picnic before a rehearsal in an enormous performance space – Sage 1. Finally we performed on the Concourse in front of Mams and Dads and invited guests.

As you can see from our photographs we all made Easter bonnets for the occasion. Thankyou to Rachel, Evie and Alycia’s mam for coming with us. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.