The Gifted and Talented Science Summer School at Imperial College August 2004


On Friday 30th August until Saturday 7th August I went to Imperial College for a space science programme, where we did lots of exciting things.

On the first day we were first given a booklet to tell us what we were going to do and a name tag. In the booklet there was a map of Imperial College so we didn’t get lost. There also was a plan of what we were going to do. First everyone went in to a hall, and Chris (the team leader) was talking about the safety rules and how to act while we were in the college. Then we went into our groups and stared our first task.

The task was that we had to build a tent with only masking tape and a plastic sheet, then we would blow it up with a machine. Firstly we had to make a plan of what it was going to look like. Everyone in our group would have to fit in the tent including our mentor and because nobody finished making their tent, the task was continued on Monday.

On Monday we first had a little talk with Chris, then we started on our tents. When we finished the entire group could fit in the tent. The shape of the tent was a hexagonal Prism. Afterwards we had to make a hole in the tent so we could put the long tube to fill the tent with air. The last thing we had to do in our groups was to find out how to measure this tower.

On the next day, Tuesday, we had a talk to see how everyone was doing, and how much progress all the groups were making. Then Chris told us we were going to make parachutes. The materials we had to use were cennext, tape and plastic sheets. After we finished it, we had to make the parachute suitable so it could drop from the tower with an egg in it. Then all the mentors went up the tower with our parachutes, because we were not allowed for safety reasons. When the mentors dropped the parachutes, we had to time how long it took to take for the parachutes to reach the ground, if the egg had cracked then you had failed the task but if you had achieved the task you would get more points.

On the next day we had another briefing so we would know what we were doing and today we were making rockets, no not the real ones that fly in space! We used paper and card. We had to wrap a piece of paper around this tube to make the base of the rocket. Then we had this little cylinder and had to wrap card around it, to make the top of the rocket. After we made the wings so it went in the right direction. Then everyone went outside to test their rockets. There was this machine which you pumped air into so the pressure blasts the rocket in to the air.

On Thursday we started to make and programme the robots, in the morning Chris was telling us that everyone has to make a different robot. We had two motors, one motor for the right wheel and the other for the left wheel. There were two wheels and a ball at the front of the robot so it could go the right direction. Then you had the hardware on the base of the robot. In the afternoon some people in the team started our presentations for our parents on Saturday.
On Friday a man came in to speak to us to tell us how to present our work to the parents. After we continued making our robots and the presentation. When we finished we started putting the sheets of paper in the tent to see how it was for Saturday. All of the team had to get in quickly, so the air would not come out.

On Saturday we came in at 10:00 and the parents came at 11:00. Every team had 1 hour to get ready. First you had to get your tent ready, then you had to put everything in if you had not. When all the parents came they all went in to a hall to be spoken to, about how much progress we had made. Then they came to see the presentation and everything went great. After all that the parents and children went to the hall to have the awards, and certificates given out. After everyone went to have lunch, then some people started to leave.