CfE in action pimp my trolley

​Pupils at Balfron High School investigated safety and shopping trolleys; using aspects from Mathematics, Physics and Technologies.



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Curriculum for Excellence

Narrator: Curriculum for Excellence is energising learning and teaching in Scotland, making it more relevant to the real world and giving young people the skills, knowledge and understanding they need to succeed.

Pimp my trolley

Lewis Hamilton, Physics Teacher:The project we’re running with class now is called ‘pimp my trolley.’ It’s a kind of take off of the American show Pimp my Ride, except we’re looking at the safety aspects. We’re looking to try and create a safe crumple zone or bumper for the car that’ll absorb a lot of the impact, and then do some testing to inform our design, maybe go back and redesign it, and ultimately try and create a safety area on our cars, and this links into a lot of the work the pupils have been doing in our transport unit, in our standard grade classes, and fits very closely to an outcome from Curriculum for Excellence as well.

Paddy: What you don't want is it to hit and then it goes back and hits again. So a sponge isn’t enough because it’ll just keep bouncing and kill the people.

Interviewer: Which is a bad thing!

Paddy: Yeah, so ...

Lewis Hamilton: Doing a project based on something as relevant as car safety basically brings the lesson more alive. Having the relevance, having a practical application I think is what makes this lesson. I’ve found that the feedback from the pupils has been really, really good, and they get very involved and work together really well in their groups.

Kim: I found it a lot better to learn from doing experiments and seeing how it actually works rather than just reading it off the page, because I think it sticks in your brain a lot more. Because just seeing it and then realising how it affects people in real life, rather than just reading words off a book.

Eilidh: I think it’s good because you’re not ... when you’re just copying out a textbook, you’re not ... you’re just looking at results which people have already achieved and proved that work, but when you’re doing it yourself you can get a good idea of how they work and which ... what actually you need to make the result successful.

Lewis Hamilton: In my opinion, physics is all about learning by discovery, and maybe that’s something that’s been lost in a lot of physics education. We really only give the pupils some starting points, and we’re there to guide them through this activity, but a lot of the results they get they discover on their own and that’s how learning, particularly in a science, really should be.

Colin: It’s sort of really satisfying when you see, like, you’ve been thinking about it and working it out and then when you finally try it and the trolley goes and it hits the right spot, then you ... and it really works and you ... it’s more rewarding and you learn more.

Lewis Hamilton: I did have a small bump in my girlfriend’s car, which the pupils did manage to extract from me at one point, so that got plenty of mileage to it. (Laughs) I hope she doesn’t see this.
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