Catch up with Earls Barton primary pupils' tomato transporters

The students celebrated British Science Week with problem solving

By Alison Bagley
Tuesday, 22nd March 2022, 3:26 pm

Pupils at Earls Barton Primary School have joined together to work on a school-wide science project - to design and build a way to transport tomatoes without squashing them.

As part British Science Week and a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) day, children used recycled materials to build a container to safely move the notoriously squishy red fruit down a mountain.

The whole day was focused around a problem faced by farmers in Nepal - how to transport fruit and vegetables including tomatoes to the local market down a zipline.

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Earls Barton Primary School STEM day

Year 6 teacher Matt Passby said: "The entire school came together for a day dedicated to using their skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to solve a real-world problem.

"In addition to bringing in their own recycled materials from home, the children had budgets in their teams so they could ‘purchase’ required objects from the STEM shop.

"The shop featured a number of possible items for use in their containers, encouraging careful consideration of resources and reduced waste."

Following an assembly in the morning to introduce the problem, children got to work using recycled materials to construct a container capable of safely transporting tomatoes down from the mountains of Nepal to the market towns below.

Team members used recycled materials

Teams produced designs and tested them on their ziplines before making improvements and re-testing.

Towards the end of the day, Key Stage One classes met up with their Key Stage Two partner class to run the official test of their containers, with real tomatoes.

Mr Passby added: "The day was a huge success with children thoroughly enjoying themselves and there were very few squashed tomatoes."

Pupils collaborated on the project at Earls Barton Primary School's STEM day
Pupils collaborated on the project at Earls Barton Primary School's STEM day - only a few tomatoes were squashed