Spider School Partnership
An exciting partnership between our school and The University of Nottingham resulted in a successful funding bid to the Royal Society to undertake a range of activities and studies linked to spiders over the course of the 2017-18 academic year. We held a highly successful spider school launch on Tuesday 27th June 2017 with staff from the University leading pupils on bug hunts in the conservation area and providing opportunities for them to meet a range of live specimens including a tarantula named Paddington.
Since September Year 5 have been the Spider Class. They have carried out 6 observations of spider activity in our conservation area and have then emailed our results over to the University of Nottingham. We are building up a pattern of spider behaviour over the course of a year. We have learnt some amazing things such as not all spiders make webs and they clearly don’t like winter as we haven’t found many on our last two inspections.
On our recent visit to London Zoo we collected some spider silk from a Golden Silk Orb weaver and are planning to carry out some tests over the coming weeks.
During November we had access to the most amazing piece of hardware a 3D printer which we used to support our Spiders project. To start with you design something using a 3D design programme, we used ‘Tinkercad’ and then you save it on a memory stick. Designing things was quite easy once we understood how to use tinker cad and Mr Kane found us some spider examples. After that we put the memory stick into the printer and it turns the object into thousands of tiny little slices, and then makes it from the bottom-up, slice by slice. Those tiny layers stick together to form a solid object. Watching our objects grow from the ground upwards was amazing even though it often took over an hour to print something that was still quite small. We created spider keys rings, spider webs, spiders in webs and even had a go at the school logo. The best thing we created was the spider on the web because it looked so realistic
Using the 3D printer helped us to develop our enterprise skills and we decided to use the things we have made as special gifts and rewards for those involved in our year-long Spider project with Nottingham University. We all now think we would quite like to get a job in computer design work and hope we can get the printer back again in the future to try and design other things and possibly get more people involved in using it.
Jessica, Zac, Evelyn, Lewis