Trinity St Marys School

  • 6, Balham Park Road, London SW12 8DR
In this section
Enrichment & STEM

What is STEM?

STEM is actually an acronym and it stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. At TSM we use STEM as an important part of our enrichment learning. It covers lots of different subject areas including Design Technology and Physics. Apart from being great fun it’s an excellent way of getting the children interested in Mathematics, Science and Engineering. Every week Mr. Grace takes out different mixed ability groups to get involved in some very hands on learning.

In this group the year 4/5 children have been looking at engineering. The children were asked to see if they could make a bridge using one sheet of A4. The bridge had to be strong enough to support the weight of a container full of paper clips.

The children learnt all about the properties of materials. By using a folded or 'pleated bridge' design the bridge is much stronger.

Can you believe that one piece of paper can support all of this weight!

Why is the pleated bridge so much stronger?

Well, this is because the weight that is on the bridge is spread out. Each of the peaks on the frame helps to spread the weight down to the foundation. By spreading the weight across more of the peaks we have placed less weight on each part of the bridge. The children were very careful to make sure that their load was evenly spread out.

Engineers design bridges so that the bridge structure spreads the weight of vehicles down to the foundation. Thus the bridge can support more weight.

Lava lamps- Properties of materials.