Upper Batley High School



Science Topic: Forces and Light

Participants: Year 7

Artist: Ammie Flexen

Cummins Buddy: Donna Skeldon

We will be working through design problems and discovering how similar the processes of creating art, engineering and science are when.  Using clay as our starting point, we will test construction skills, decorating techniques and learn to make decisions and predictions for our design. We might find that clay is unpredictable, and that we need to be flexible about our ideas as it shrinks and changes through the power of heat and chemical changes. Our Cummins buddy tests materials and we will discover that muddy clay and metals have more in common than we first think.

Session 1:

Today in our first session, we met Donna (from Cummins Turbo Technologies) and Ammie (who is a ceramic artist). Donna talked to us about her work at Cummins and explained how they test materials for safety and showed us a really interesting presentation on turbos chargers. Ammie told us about her work as an artist and showed us some making and joining techniques using our hands and forces, by pressing, pinching and squeezing the clay.  We experimented to find out how whether clay can hold itself up when we built a tall pot. It didn’t! It stayed for a short while, then collapsed. Ammie explained about the chemical changes that clay goes through when it is heated in a kiln, so it turns from sticky clay to a very hard material. We need to think about how clay shrinks, how it becomes brittle and how it changes when we are designing our final piece of work. Today Ammie set us tasks that meant we had to work together as a team, as well as working individually on creating our robots so we could develop our own ideas and test out the clay for ourselves.



Today I learned that art is not just on paper but can be clay and other materials.

I learned score and slip are important when joining clay, if you have any air bubbles your clay will explode when being fired!

It was exciting making our clay robots and learning about turbo chargers.

We learned about speed and G-Force when looking at the turbo charger.

Todays session was exciting and opened our imagination.