Sand Yachts Challenge

Exeter Road

"Children of all ages from the four partner schools comprising the newly-formed Avocet Teaching Trust will learn how wind power can propel a variety of craft, including wheeled Sand Yachts. Inspired and assisted by our STEM Ambassador, along with local businesswoman Steph Bridge (also a World Kite Surfing Champion) the children will work in teams to design and test their own small-scale Sand Yachts and ultimately race them in a Big Event on the golden sands of Exmouth Beach.

Throughout this project, children will enhance their understanding of forces: investigating, for example, the shape, area or height of sail that works best; or, whether the diameter or width of the wheels affects performance; or, how wide the wheelbase needs to be in order to support the mast. The event will include speed-, distance-, time- and terrain-based challenges with a 'transporting the teddy' challenge for the youngest children, and use of radio control for gifted and talented groups. The project will be jointly managed by the four Science Subject Leaders, establishing a precedent for future collaboration and enterprise."

Robin James (Project Lead) & - Science Leader at Exeter Road Primary School - Robin had the idea for this project while walking on Exmouth beach with his wife! He began working at Exeter Road two years before graduating from Rolle College, which used to be based in the town as part of the University of Plymouth. He’s taught at the school since 1997 and been its science leader since 2008. In 2010-11 Robin led another project shortlisted for the Rolls-Royce Science Prize, which inspired children to design, build and test miniature greenhouses from materials that would otherwise be thrown away. This led to the construction of a full-size greenhouse made from panels of 9 CD cases, based on a design by three Year 3 girls. The project proved so innovative and successful as a way of promoting science and technology that Robin has come up with a project idea for Rolls-Royce every year since, so he’s thrilled this year to have got through once again to the final nine! Robin embarked on a Masters course in 2012 in Science Education and Leadership through the National Science Learning Centre. In January 2013, he was invited onto the panel at the ASE conference debate in Reading.

Lynn Colville-Hyde - Science Leader at Brixington Primary School - Lynn graduated from Exeter University with a BEd Hons (majoring in Science) in 1986 and has since spent 27 years as a class teacher teaching across the full 5-11 age range. She has worked in schools in London and Exeter and joined Brixington in 1994. She has been Science leader for much of this time and has taken part in several research projects in Science education. She recently participated in an action research project on peer mentoring in Science Education with the University of Exeter. She is committed to ensuring high quality Science teaching which engages children and gives them exciting, memorable experiences.

Rodney Battey - STEM Ambassador - Graduated with a degree in Natural Sciences concentrating on metallurgy. Spent 5 years at the RN Engineering College training naval engineer officers, and then joined a local authority technical college training mechanical engineering students at certificate, diploma and degree level. Gained my Further Education teachers’ certificate and worked in middle India on a Government of India lecturer improvement project. My Master’s degree was in project evaluation in higher education. After twenty years in technical education I became a local authority education adviser and inspector. Since my retirement I have been able to travel widely in India, the Americas and Southern Africa. This will be the fourth year of my association with the school in promoting science subjects at primary level.

Sarah Wells - Science Leader at Bassetts Farm Primary School - Mrs Sarah Wells, BA (HONS) in English Literature and Archaeology, PGCE in Primary Years, Class teacher, Science and Eco coordinator at Bassetts Farm Primary School. Sarah brings to the team a love of outdoor learning which complements science well as the two combine to provide children with endless opportunities of discovering and questioning the world around us. Sarah is the lead teacher that supports the Eco Council in its role to make Bassetts a greener and healthier school too. It is a growing role as the children seek to introduce more initiatives to help ‘save the world!’ Sarah runs an after - school Science Club for upper KS1. This provides further opportunities for children to access a wide range of exciting activities that will help continue the development of our future scientists and promote Science as the fun and inquisitive subject it is.

Victoria Vining - Science Leader at Marpool Primary - Mrs Victoria Vining BA (Hons) in Primary Education and specialism in Early Years and Science, class teacher and Science Coordinator at Marpool Primary. Victoria brings to the team a love of providing children with rich, engaging and exciting opportunities to apply their scientific knowledge and understanding. Victoria has recently developed a project entitled ‘Marpool App Boards’ for the grounds of the school. These are based on the application scientific enquiry alongside a variety of other skills. Victoria believes passionately in providing children with the opportunities to be wonderers and to question and explore the world around them. Victoria eagerly anticipates taking part in this wonderful project and guiding a new generation of scientists.

Steph Bridge - Kite Surfing Champion - Steph’s impressive knowledge of the wind and racing tactics developed growing up in Exmouth. She represented the country in the GB Youth Sailing Team from the age of 13 to 16 and her university sailing career included cross-Atlantic racing. Aged 21, Steph set up Spinnakers Sailing Centre in Exmouth – of which Science Prize team members Rodney Battey and Robin James have fond memories! With husband Eric, Steph now runs Exmouth kite surfing school and retail outlet Edge Watersports. Since becoming British Freestyle Champion in 2006, Steph has been World Kite Race Champion on four occasions. She has her sights set on competing at the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016, along with son Olly. Steph’s other sons, Guy and Tom, have also competed successfully in major kite surfing championships. In readiness for the defence of her own kite surfing crown, Steph is currently having a custom race board created for her with a top secret design. Steph’s other accolades include setting a world record for crossing the channel with Richard Branson in 2012, and the world record for being towed by a car on a kite board! She is a part of the North Kite boarding International Team competing regularly all over the world and is often ‘sounded out’ during product development. After her first trip north to introduce the sport of kite boarding to Iceland in 2004, Steph got the travelling bug. She and her team now regularly run kite surfing holidays in many of the world’s great kitesurfing spots.

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