2 October 2017
Team work, problem solving and water supply engineering skills were all needed at the two days of Thames Water and Kier Group Chocolate Factory Challenges. Around 230 pupils from nine local primary schools participated in four sessions, hosted by Larkmead School and arranged through the Abingdon Science Partnership and the Abingdon Partnership of Schools. The first challenge for the primary pupils was to build a tower of wooden blocks, lifting them with a hook linked to a web of ropes, each rope controlled by a separate person. Several teams worked really carefully and patiently to make the block tower spell the word INSPIRE! The second challenge was to assess and repair a network of plastic pipes supplying real water, from a reservoir, to various customers and facilities in an imaginary city. Just when the pupils thought they had solved the problem, a new customer asked to join the network - the Chocolate Factory! The children all learnt a lot about working together and how to apply their ideas to solve realistic problems, as well as being able to learn about the careers of the many staff from Thames Water and Kier who acted as mentors during the day.