As part of our topic, 4JC were challenged by Mr Cooke to create a windmill that could lift-up a plastic cup when the sails turn. The children were only given a diagram with no real detail and the equipment they needed. Once they had been given the challenge, the children started to note down their initial thoughts (on yellow Post-It notes).
The children then started their task in pairs. There were many different approaches and the children made lots of mistakes: some children stuck the bamboo stick straight to the table, some children didn’t Sellotape enough bamboo to the table so it wasn’t strong enough, some children made their sails too thin and some children made their sails too long. However, they persevered through these mistakes and then amended their approaches.
After a while, we discussed these mistakes as a class and explored how we could learn from these mistakes and change how we would make the windmills. They then decided how to make their windmill so that it was the most effective at lifting the cup.
Finally, the class came back together to discuss how they thought the challenge had turned out and how they feel now compared to the start of the task (shown on blue Post-It notes). We discussed how a growth mindset was very beneficial during this challenge and how their willingness to make mistakes, learn from them and have the resilience to keep on going enabled them to succeed at the challenge.