Leading tech giants Schlumberger open their doors to Year 5 students for Cambridge LaunchPad activity day

60 Year 5 students from King’s Hedges Primary School were given the exciting opportunity to visit Schlumberger for an activity day with Cambridge LaunchPad.

The students were given the opportunity to take part in a range of engineering and technology-related activities from observing and recording sound and seismic waves to racing liquids of different viscosity and even walking across a corn-starch pool! They were also challenged to automate a game of ‘whack-a-rat’ by learning how to programme actions step-by-step, until a sprung arm could effectively whack ‘rats’ of all shapes.

Alexander Grieve, Year 5 teacher at King’s Hedges Primary School, said:

“From the moment that the children met the staff from Cambridge Launchpad and Schlumberger, they were very excited at the prospect of getting to grip with some real scientific experiments and experiences. The day itself was brilliant – all of the activities were carefully planned out, extremely engaging and well supported with plenty of staff to help the children. Being able to handle the cornstarch, glycerin and other fluids was really good fun and a great opportunity for the children to work as scientists and get stuck in.“

The students were very enthusiastic and engaged all day with many claiming it was “the best trip ever”! Using coding to programme the robots in the afternoon session had the children completely in enraptured, and they came away constantly re-telling their friends about the different things they had experienced.

David Halliday, Senior Research Scientist at Schlumberger, said:

“We were delighted to be able to host our first Cambridge Launchpad Activity Day at Schlumberger’s Research Centre in Cambridge. It was fantastic to see the enthusiasm and excitement that the pupils had for Science and Technology, and the participating Schlumberger scientists were amazed by the energy, vigour, and remarkably good behaviour with which the children tackled the diverse range of activities. This made for a fun, enjoyable and educational event for all.”

The seven students that most impressed the volunteers with their teamwork and communication skills and progress throughout the activities, were selected to attend a surprise prize trip that will take place in the summer, alongside Year 4–6 students from other schools and colleges that are taking part in Cambridge LaunchPad. This programme, which is managed by Form the Future CIC, aims to excite, educate, enthuse young people with STEM, and show that industries, such as engineering and technology, can be interesting and accessible. Schlumberger are one of four Founding Partners of the programme.

Anna Aldred, STEM Outreach and Cambridge LaunchPad Project Manager from Form the Future CIC, said:

“Today, King’s Hedges Education Federation Year 5s had the chance to see what goes on behind closed doors at Schlumberger, an organisation with such a recognisable building in Cambridge, one that many students have seen before. The genuine passion and enthusiasm of the Schlumberger LaunchPad Ambassadors for engaging with these young people was so inspiring, and shone through in all their interaction with students, enriching the LaunchPad experience for all present.”

We are eager to hear from schools and businesses who are interested in getting involved with Cambridge LaunchPad next academic year. Feel free to contact our STEM Outreach Project Manager, Anna, at aaldred@formthefuture.org.uk for more information.

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