Children take on water filter challenge

Children have enjoyed some hands-on learning as they found out how the water in our homes is filtered for drinking.

Thirty nine and ten-year-olds at St Helen’s School, Cliffe, had a fun and slightly messy lesson in water, forces and structures when they were visited by the Rochester Bridge Trust.

Two Education Officers and a six-foot lion visited the school, teaching children the importance of cleaning water and explaining how civil engineers design the facilities for this vital resource. The children then enjoyed their own chance to design a water filter.

Aileen White, from the Rochester Bridge Trust, explained: “We spent the day with the Year 5 pupils, enjoying interactive tasks in teams and encouraging them to think about how civil engineers help bring clean water to our homes. It was a pleasure to see how keen they were and how much they applied themselves to the challenge of modelling a water filtration system.”

The day involved a morning of learning, followed by an afternoon challenge to design and model in teams of four. Their creations were then tested and judged by Langdon the Lion, the Trust’s education mascot.

Teacher Mrs Plumb said: “We are very grateful to the Rochester Bridge Trust for bringing this fun activity to our pupils, who really enjoyed the opportunity to learn through doing.”

The winning team was Silly Science, which created the most sturdy filter system. Described as “very creative”, their design scored full marks on all criteria and provided the clearest water. Second place went to team Boogie Woogie and third place to the Party Pringles.

Langdon the Lion added: “Bridges are my favourite part of civil engineering, and the structural design that holds up a big bridge is also needed to hold up a big water filter. Civil engineering is a wide field and I’m keen to encourage children to learn about all aspects of this exciting career. They did a great job of taking on the water filter challenge and I look forward to working with many of them again when they’re grown-ups.”

See a short video of a water engineering challenge here.

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