Dyson Science – The squashed Tomato Challenge.

Dyson class have been incredibly busy this week. Not only have we been busy as Artists but we have also had a real-life science challenge to investigate and solve.

This term we have been looking at simple machines in the form of levers, pulleys and gears. To help us develop our understanding further we have been able to apply this knowledge to formulate possible solutions for a real-life issue experienced by tomato farmers in Nepal.

Nepal is an incredibly mountainous region, containing 8 of the 10 highest mountain peaks in the world. As a result, Nepalese farmers face some rather challenging farming conditions. As a class, we discussed the difficulties faced by the farmers in Nepal and how it would affect their lives. In particular, we discussed how they would transport their produce to market, many miles away and the dangers they would endure.

Working in groups, the children had to devise a way of getting their delicate tomato crops safely down the mountain side to market. Their design needed to include a pulley or lever mechanism and travel a distance of 1 meter. During this time, their crop could not touch the ground and they were not allowed to touch it. The children needed to consider the shape and size of their container as they needed to be able to transport their crop safely and securely.

This week, we were finally able to make and test our designs. The children demonstrated fantastic team work, evaluating and solving any problems they encountered. They were able to discuss any issues that had arisen and formulate ways to try and overcome them. Many groups modified their designs and re-tested. Here are some of our designs.

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