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Furness Academy STEM Transition

This week, Furness Academy welcomed Year 6 students for the first face-to-face primary school transition event in over 18 months. Students from local primaries have taken part in a STEM challenge each morning over the past week, learning to build and balance a cardboard glider ready for flight.


Students from Parkside Academy, Yarlside Academy, Victoria Academy, Greengate Junior School, Roose Primary School, Dane Ghyll Primary School, Barrow Island Primary School, St George’s Primary School, St James’s Junior School, Ormsgill Primary School and Cambridge Primary School have all spent a morning at Furness Academy over the past week.


During the morning, the students were given a glider kit. In this kit they were provided with a glider body, wings, nose pieces and a selection of items to help balance their planes. The students had to build the glider, decorate them and then use plasticine and rubber bands to ensure their planes were perfectly balanced for flight. The students were given time to run practice flights, readjust and rebalance their planes and prepare for a final measured flight.


The students had some great successes with their planes, breaking records daily for the longest flights. The purpose of the event was to introduce and expand on a number of STEM skills with the Year 6 students, including knowledge of forces, design and evaluation and the mechanics of flights.


Glenn Kaighan, Head of Engineering at Furness Academy said, “We have really enjoyed having the Year 6 students with us during the past week, designing and building their gliders. STEM education is really important to us here at Furness Academy, with Engineering being our most popular GCSE option. It was brilliant that we were able to give the young students the opportunity to experience STEM study at Furness Academy in an exciting and innovative way. The students really enjoyed themselves. I was impressed daily by their designs and the ways they cleverly adapted their gliders for flight. It’s been a great week”.



Chief Operating Officer and Headteacher of Furness Academy Mr Simon Laheney said “It has been great that we have been able to welcome Year 6 students from so many of our local primaries for the first time in many months. We hope that the students enjoyed their mornings at Furness Academy and we hope to welcome them back to our school soon”. 


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