House Spirit and Science Heroics at Herstmonceaux

House Spirit and Science Heroics at Herstmonceaux

The Second Year embarked on our annual Enrichment Day trip to Herstmonceux Science Centre.We had a marvellous time exploring the Exhibits Corridor and Discovery Park, both of which included demonstrations and models of various physics phenomena, from electromagnetism to planetary atmospheres. With the Second Year science syllabus being rich in practical work and collaborative activities, we hope that some of these exhibits will inspire our pupils in their lessons this year. The countdown to the 2024 Junior Science Fair starts now, you might say.

The main event of the trip, however, was the Team Challenge Competition. The pupils had been sorted into twelve teams, based on their Academic Houses, and the teams faced off in Herstmonceux’s three iconic challenges. We had to build the tallest possible tower using only fifteen blocks – five of one shape, four of another, and so on down to one. We had to build a truss bridge to meet a written specification, and then take it to pieces as quickly as possible. We had to crack a code and open a padlock as quickly as possible. The winning team in each challenge took 1 point; 2 points for second place etc.

The House spirit was terrific, especially in the animated discussions around the tower building. The teams also enjoyed trying to work out what some of the team names meant: we all knew why Aldercombe, Harestone, Lewisham, Newington, Ridgefield and Underwood were so named, but what about Eiffel Swift and Perry Pompeii, for example?

Elsewhere, each team enjoyed a tour of the Herstmonceux telescope facilities (with several Caterham staff taking part in the demonstrations of how reflecting telescopes work) and a stint at the water exhibit, the latter of which was very welcome on that hot day.

The team challenge results were calculated behind the scenes by Herstmonceux staff. Lewisham had to relinquish their title for the first time in a few years, as Aldercombe took first place (including impressive victories in the codes and towers challenges), while Harestone took second and an Aldercombe-Harestone coalition, Eiffel Swift, won the bridge challenge and finished third overall.

Congratulations to the pupils in the medal-winning teams, and to all the other teams. Thank you to all the staff leaders on the trip, and to Herstmonceux’s staff, for all that you did to make the visit so enriching. Here’s to a great year in the sciences and House events.

Mr R. Evans

Teacher of Chemistry, Herstmonceux Trip Leader, Head of Ridgefield

Back to all news

discover more about caterham