I’m often asked what inspired me to pursue a career in STEM. And there are lots of answers to that question, but probably the two most important were my parents’ constant encouragement to stay curious, and the wonderful science teacher I had at primary school.
Some of my fondest memories from that age are the end of term challenge she would set the whole top-half of the school every year. Working in our houses, years 3-6 would come together to build a car and ramp combo that would travel the furthest, or a device that could safely deliver our egg to the ground, unscathed, from the school roof. As well as learning lots about physics, engineering and the design process, these challenges taught me so much about working in a team, prioritisation and (particularly the year I was head of my house and so leading the team) managing other people.
With that in mind, here at Braintastic! Science we have created our own end of term challenge that embodies these ideas, which we would love for you to use with your class. We love exploring science and creativity, so are challenging your students to build a neuron Rube Goldberg machine out of anything you can find in your classroom. Along the way they'll get an introduction to our amazing brains and the nervous system and have some fun with biology - but to get them started, what is a neuron?:
To make it even easier for you, we have put together a fun science lesson plan, presentation and worksheet you can use to run this activity with your class. We know what a tough year this has been for teachers and pupils, so we are making all the resources you will need available for free- and there are a few more too on our freebies page.
We would love to see what your class comes up with, so please do share your incredible neuron machines on social media, and tag us @BraintasticSci. And do check out some of our other ideas for STEM activities and science enrichment next term - or get in touch to book one of our fun and interactive science shows and workshops for schools.