Visit to Rockmount Primary School

It's when we visit schools that the real potential of what we do comes to light.

On receiving the following email from a pupil at Rockmount Primary School, I was curious to find out more about what the children were planning:

I am a year five student at Rockmount Primary School and I am an Eco Councillor. I had an idea that we should have something pedal powered in our playground and I got voted for the idea by my class.

After a few more emails I agreed to visit the school during their Green Week to discuss their ideas further and, of course, to take a long a few bits and pieces to demonstrate what could be done.

I really enjoy visiting primary schools. You can guarantee one thing: boundless levels of enthusiasm, interest and fun. It's that age when children are really interested in the world and you're interesting to them. That said, I'd turned up not really knowing what I was going to say or what to expect. So I started asking questions about their project. I wanted to know how much research they'd done. 

One of my favourite moments was when I thought I was being a bit of a smarty pants and asked: what is the difference between power and energy? I even suffixed it with some 'oh that's a difficult question', thinking they would not know the answer, only to be given an incredible reply by a 10-year-old girl who said that fuel stored in a rocket represented embodied energy and the thrust represented power.... and that set the tone for the day, amazing kids.

Next thing you know we've got kids powering the hand-bike which is powering a pump in the sink and we're firing water out of the first floor window in the name of science and a proof on concept! 

So we had some fun and discussed some ideas including splitting the flow from the pump between the fountain and an irrigation system for the vegetable garden next to the pond. I thought that was a great idea; at least your energy is not wasted entirely on fun.

Lets see what happens next!