Monday August 4, 2014
We have been delighted to learn that The Royal Academy of Engineering are using our Compact Mosquito Nets as part of their education programme in schools.
The Royal Academy of Engineering aims to inspire future generations to enter engineering and study STEM subjects - science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, in school and beyond.
The Academy develops school resources and works with a network of teachers and further education colleges across the UK. The network of teachers train other teachers about the resources, and their feedback means that the resources can be continually improved.
We spoke to Jonathan Lowe, STEM Education Project Officer at The Royal Academy of Engineering.
What project are the mosquito nets being used for?
The mosquito nets form part of a box of maths resources for 11-14 year olds which has an engineering theme of deployable structures. The box consists of six activities and two engineering case studies. One of the activities is about mosquito nets.
How will the children be using these nets?
The compact nets will be used to demonstrate what the mosquito net activity is about so that the children can see the context.
The activity covers some of the problems associated with people using mosquito nets, for example hanging a net. It includes a challenge to design a free-standing structure that could be used to support a mosquito net. The teacher might choose to get the students to demonstrate their framework design on a real life net.
Image courtesy of The Royal Academy of Engineering
What skills will students learn?
Malaria is an issue for millions of people and this resource aims to develop children’s mathematics skills within the context of a real world issue.
The mosquito nets and other activities in the resource box will also help them to see what engineers do – they often believe engineers only fix cars!
When is this happening?
The boxes have been sent out to the network of 24 teachers across the UK. They will decide when to do their training with their local team of teachers, and the Academy will send each of those teachers enough resource boxes when required.
What other equipment is being used in the “Deployable Structures” resource boxes?
- Printed materials for each activity, which include calculations and maths problems with a real-world context
- For the mosquito nets there is modelling equipment to make a prototype frame for a net
- There are coffee stirrers to help make an umbrella mechanism for another activity
- Plus seeds for growing a plant that opens up when you touch it (mimosa pudica)!
This exciting project is just one instance of how the the Academy is working with schools. You can learn more about The Royal Academy of Engineering at www.raeng.org.uk
We hope the mosquito nets activity helps to raise young people’s awareness of the global issue of Malaria, and at the same time help them with their maths skills.
The Compact Net used in the resource pack can be purchased from a number of suppliers. Simply click on the “Where to Buy” button on the Compact Net product page.