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Highnam Church Of England Primary Academy

01452 525872

Wetherleigh Drive, Highnam, Gloucester, GL2 8LW

Children with Confidence

Highnam awarded 2nd place in the Science Challenge

For the past seven years, King's School in Gloucester has held a Science and Engineering Challenge for primary schools in Gloucestershire. This year there were 12 teams that entered and the Highnam team comprised of Isabel, James, Alex G and Alex N.

The Challenge

The task was to design, build and test a tubular ball chute with the aim for the ball bearing to exit as slowly as possible after being released at the top of the run.


On our tables we had our instruction sheet, a square wooden base with a pole with holes at various places plus a box of materials. In the box we found: dowel rod, scissors and glue, 5m of plastic tubing, ball bearing, blue tack, 1m of string, 4 elastic bands, 6 lollipop sticks, pencils, A3 paper, A4 card, a stopwatch and a 30cm ruler.

Building it

This was a very tricky task. Once we thought about our design we got to work on building our ball bearing run. There were three opportunities to have a test to see how slow the ball bearing went at the end of the run. Each time we were able to adapt our model to see whether we could slow the ball down as it travelled down the plastic tubing.


The results

The judges took into consideration our team work, our structural design, our creative name and logo, planning and the exit speed of the ball. Our model had the third slowest exit speed but because of our teamwork and artwork we were awarded 2nd place overall, beaten only by 0.002 of a second!!

The parents and teachers

There was a table set up for parents and teachers to have a go at the challenge. They worked extremely hard and built a good ball bearing run. Unfortunately the ball came out of the tube so slowly that it kept getting lodged in the sensor so we were unable to get a final reading!

This is us receiving our medals and certificates on stage. Our parents and teachers wee very proud of us! 


Thank you to Miss Thomas for organising our team and to Mr Tibbles and Mr Dean for supporting us on the day.


Written by Isabel, James, Alex G and Alex N.