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During this term the boys learned about how to create electrical circuits and which materials are good conductors and poor conductors of materials.  They also learned about the various parts of a standard house plug and its layout, parts of a lightbulb and the function of a basic circuit board or fuse box.

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Last week the boys in Fourth Form were learning all about space. We learned about life on the International Space Station. Commander Chris Hadfield explained to us how difficult it can be to do simple activities. Even crying in space is totally different because the tears wont drop down your face. 

The boys had to design two space ships using only a piece of paper and tape. We then did an experiment to see whose design could travel the furthest. The ships had to first be thrown and then propelled using a straw and just your breath.

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We have recently been working on the topic of length in Maths. The boys estimated the lengths of several different objects and distances, such as the length of a pen and the width of the classroom floor.  

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National Engineering Week, 28th February - 5th March, was marked in St.Michael's by our first school wide engineering competition.  Mr. Ruane visited all the classrooms to promote the competition which challenged each of the boys in the senior classes to construct their own futuristic vehicles.  The Parent's Association have kindly offered to sponsor a prize for the winning entrant in each year in the senior classes.  The boys worked on their projects at home for the preceeding week and the deadline for submission was on Friday of Engineering Week.

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In February,  the boys were tasked with designing their own parachute using the same set of raw materials, which consisted of different types of paper, plastic bags, string, selotape, art straws and tin-foil.  The boys worked collaboratively to design, create and perform tests on their prototypes during the afternoon.  The class then embarked to the pavillion to test out the efficacy of their prototypes!  The boys also timed and recorded the flight times of each parachute.  Well done to all the boys on their designs.

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On "Jersey Day", we examined the effect which gravity has on the Earth and its occupants.  The class revised the concept of what a fair test involves in scientific terms and afterwards they were divided into teams.  Each team was given the same set of raw materials and asked to devise a scientific format which they thought would best measure and demonstrate the varying effects of gravity and air resistance on various everyday objects.  Each group were also asked to devise a method of measuring this effect qualitatively and quantitatively.

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In February,  we learned about hydraulic and pneumatic pressure in SESE.  We also demonstrated this using large syringes, rubber pipes and water.  A special thank you to Douglas Murray for offering to supply the syringes for this experiment.

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As part of Engineers Week, Fifth Form were visited by guest speaker and past pupil Jack Kennedy this week. Jack is an engineering student in Trinity College. He spoke to the boys about lots of different engineering related topics, such as 3D printing. The boys found it very interesting and asked him lots of questions. Many thanks to Jack for taking the time to visit. 

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The theme for Engineers Week this year is 'Engineering our Future'. The school has run its own engineering project. The boys were asked to design their own vehicle from the future, using common household materials. The boys did an outstanding job! Here are a selection of the projects they did.