Walking unsuspectingly around Southbank Centre, I was pounced on by Josh Ferguson and Michael Quinn from The Sittingbourne Community College.
“Do you want to test your lung capacity?” asked Mike. I tried to shy away “Oh mine is rubbish”. But he insisted “Everyone says that but then it turns out to be really good”
Fortunately mine was 350, “That's average for a woman” Josh told me ('phew!') “You breathe in oxygen. Do you want to find out how that works?” and I was led over to another pupil Sam Constance on the Biobots stand to learn all about respiration.
Afterwards Luke Hipkiss showed me 'Little Ted' “designed by big Ted” which was a robot demonstrating how the ligands in your arms and legs work when you move, a pneumatic leg kicking a football and some balancing boards, which the students were much better at staying on that I was!
“The more you use these the more muscles are used in your legs and ankles, and all over trying to balance. They are really good for making your legs fit” said Cherringdon Green, “We started this looking at what you need to make an Olympic athlete. So we looked at the way the body moves with the models and the food you need for energy.”.
I was given a chance to win some very high energy Haribo sweets by organising food groups into the food types. Unfortunately I put kidney beans into protein instead of vitamins and minerals. “A six year old got all of them right earlier, he really knew his foods!” Luke told me. Beaten by a six year old!
There was also a K'Nex model of a knee designed by two pupils Mike and Jamie Jennings, using elastic bands to mimic muscles. This seemed to be the most popular, getting children and adults involved building their own.
It was a great experience and after chatting to teacher Julie Daynes about their amazing enthusiasm she commented “This morning they were like 'Oh no we have to talk to people', now they are hunting people down and bringing them over! It's brilliant”.
Helen Morgan, one of the teachers from Sittingbourne Community College, talks to Rachel Mundy about one of the experiments the pupils conducted as part of their Biobots investigations: the paint can experiment.