Rocket building, giant bubbles and more at Go: STEM workshop during Venus Fun Run

A student from SK Putrajaya Presint 18(1) launching a bottle rocket into the sky during the Venus Fun Run at Taman Wetlands, Putrajaya. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa.
A student from SK Putrajaya Presint 18(1) launching a bottle rocket into the sky during the Venus Fun Run at Taman Wetlands, Putrajaya. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa.

PETALING JAYA, July 8 — The Venus Fun Run organised by the Astronautical Association of Malaysia (Astro X) which took place yesterday at Taman Wetlands, Putrajaya, was much more than just a run.

The event also featured a special workshop about the wonders of science and technology conducted by Go: STEM, an organisation that aims to provide high-quality science and technology-based educational programmes to school children.

As runners challenged themselves to complete the 5km run on a wet morning, the Go: STEM team carried out a bunch of absorbing activities to educate and stimulate the interest in science and technology amongst the 200 over students who were in attendance.

Contestants of the Venus Fun Run not letting a little rain get in their way as they race to complete the five-kilometre run. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa.
Contestants of the Venus Fun Run not letting a little rain get in their way as they race to complete the five-kilometre run. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa.

The students, who came from 20 different primary and secondary schools around the vicinity of Putrajaya, took part in cool experiments and activities related to pressure, heat, fire and gas, in conjunction with the theme of the run, which was about the planet Venus.

The workshop started off with a lesson on air pressure, as the workshop conductor doled out a bunch of paper cups to the students before asking them to place the cups on their heads.

He proceeded to take out his “air gun”, made from a recycled bin, to “shoot” the cups off of their heads using nothing but air pressure.

The workshop conductor demonstrating to the students how airflow works. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa.
The workshop conductor demonstrating to the students how airflow works. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa.

He even demonstrated to the students what the airflow looks like as it shoots out of the bin by filling it with smoke, and explained more about air pressure by making gigantic floating bubbles!

Students were also taught about the concept of heat and how it relates to air pressure, as a large bag and a hairdryer were used to demonstrate how a hot air balloon works.

A couple of students helped out as they filled the large bag with hot air from the hairdryer and marvelled as it slowly began to float.

Go: STEM however saved the best for last, as they taught the students how to build their own rockets.

Students were given bottles, sheets of plastic-coated paper and tape, as the team instructed them on how to build an aerodynamic miniature rocket.

Once the students were done constructing their rockets, there was only one thing left to do — launch the rockets!

Students using a pump to raise the air pressure before launching their handmade rockets into the sky. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa.
Students using a pump to raise the air pressure before launching their handmade rockets into the sky. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa.

And they were filled with glee as they gazed at their handmade rockets flying through the rainy sky, undeterred by the weather.

All in all, it was a truly memorable experience for the students, as they got to have fun and learn something new at the same time.

If you are interested to know more about Go: STEM surf over to its Facebook page to find out more about their upcoming projects and activities.

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