Northamptonshire school children explore the physics behind mountaineering

News Page 15th December 2016

The University of Northampton gave school children across the county the opportunity to learn about the physics behind rock climbing and mountaineering at an activity day at the Pinnacle Climbing Centre.

Over 100 pupils aged between 11 and 13 from nine schools attended the event and took part in a series of different workshops to learn about muscle movement, strength, adrenaline, resilience, teamwork and how to overcome challenges, such as fear.

They also looked at the environmental impact of what happens when climbing a large mountain, such as Everest, such as how your body copes under extreme circumstances before having a go at climbing themselves.

Exploring art was a big part of the day as the pupils used their design skills to make a climbing hold out of modelling foam. They also had the chance to explore drawing in an unconventional way as their task was to produce portraits of each other while tethered to the wall in a climbing harness.

The event was part of the ASPIRE programme, which the University of Northampton is a partner of, and aims to raise the aspirations and ambitions of young people within Northamptonshire in the STEAM subjects – science, technology, engineering, art and maths.

Linda Davis-Sinclair, Schools Engagement Lead at the University of Northampton, said: “The Pinnacle Climbing Centre was the ideal place to bring science to life outside the classroom. The pupils were informed about a range of STEAM subjects, and the jobs and careers they can lead to, whilst having a lot of fun. There was a real buzz to the whole day, with lots of team work taking place and even the most reluctant pupils were encouraged to achieve and succeed.

“We had a lot of fantastic feedback from both teachers and pupils who found the event was a great practical example of demonstrating how science, maths art and technology works together and really gave the children something to think about in the future careers.”

Tim Dobson, Head of Schools Engagement at the University of Northampton, said: “It was an amazing day and the children really enjoyed their day with us. The buzz in all workshops was contagious and the children went home thinking about their futures and what they could study at university. Thank you to all colleagues and our university students who gave their time so willingly to make the day an overriding success.”

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