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Bringing Welding with Chocolate to Radwinter primary school

Mon, 04 March, 2019

On the 7th of February 2019, TWI conducted its famous “Welding with Chocolate” activity to the pupils from Radwinter C of E primary school. The workshop was led by TWI employee and Chair of The Welding Institute’s Younger Members’ Committee, Matthew Haslett, and assisted by Simone Gubbins (TWI) and Faranak Bahrami (NSIRC).

Welding with chocolate is an innovative and fun hands-on activity exploring welding principles and mechanical testing in the classroom. As part of TWI’s education outreach activities since 2007, the main aim of the experiment is to enthuse children and young people about Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM subjects), with a particular emphasis on welding and structural integrity. It is generally suitable for children from reception (4 years of age) up to lower secondary (14 years of age), but can be tailored to suit older children as well.

In this activity, basic welding principles are demonstrated using a heat source of hot water in a glass bottle and chocolate bars as the welding material. The children weld 4 chocolate bars together to make a small box girder bridge, making the box shape much stiffer than a single bar. After solidification, the box girder bridge is destructively tested by adding weights to the mid-span. The maximum load is then recorded and compared against the maximum load recorded for a single chocolate bar.

The event proved a real success, with the teacher saying, "It was pitched exactly at the right level for the children." The children also seemed to enjoy the experience, as one commented, "I was so surprised that we could make the chocolate stronger," while another noted, "The best bit was testing the bridges. It was so exciting when they broke!"

This activity comes as part of TWI’s ongoing commitment to educational outreach as part of our corporate social responsibility, which you can find out more about here.

Matthew Haslett leads the session
Matthew Haslett leads the session

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