Ash Hill students are on the crest of a wave

We were delighted to welcome John Lupton from Marine Engineering Pathway back to Ash Hill Academy to work with our Y7 students. John delivered a hugely engaging workshop to around 60 Y7 students back in March and we just had to invite John back to work with the rest of the year group.


John, a former engineer in the RAF, opened his workshop discussing with our students STEM careers and the huge shortage of skilled men and women in this country, specifically marine engineering. John talked about how and why certain materials and objects sink and why others float, and what forces act on such materials and objects through visual demonstrations. John then gave students an insight into how large boats are constructed and able to carry tonnes of cargo.


As the main activity, students were challenged to make a boat from paper and foil that could firstly float on water and secondly, hold a maximum amount of glass marbles. The boats could be no bigger than 20cm x 10cm and students were given 30 minutes. Students then tested their boats to see how many marbles their vessel could hold.


To conclude the workshops, John was able to hold a Q&A with varying questions regarding his 30-year career.


John had a fantastic time working with our Y7 students and had the following comments regarding out students’ efforts. “Thanks to all at Ash Hill for their support during the delivery of the MEP Workshops last week.” John added “Once again the work ethos of the pupils was excellent, all worked hard and designed and built boats that we were able to test.”


Special mention to Libby Tyman, McKenzie Mathews and Sadie Davidson who built the boat that carried the most marbles and now hold the Ash Hill Academy record for number of marbles carried in this challenge with 404 marbles.


We look forward to seeing John in the new academic year as he will return to work with our new cohort of Y7 students.