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In this week's 'Lego All-Stars' we took a learning journey back in time to meet the ship designer, Thomas Andrews.
Thomas' love of science, engineering and maths earned him a very important job of designing ships over 100 years ago. Whilst he built many boats it was one of his final designs that he will always be remembered.
He was called upon to design two very large ships, for the White Star Line. 'Olympic' and 'Titanic' were built at the Harland & Wolffe shipyard in Belfast.
Thomas Andrews' calculations determined that if 'Titanic' had a double hull and watertight bulkhead gates going up to 'B Deck' the ship would be very difficult to sink. This tempted some to call the ship, 'unsinkable'. His original designs also included over 40 lifeboats.
Sadly, the designs were later changed, much to Andrews' unhappiness with the bulkheads being installed much shorter to allow more deck and storage space above. They also reduced the number of lifeboats required. These changes to Andrew's STEM calculations led to Titanic's demise and great loss of life on April 14 1912.
That night it struck an iceberg. Water flooded through the bulkheads. Andrews' bulkhead gates were closed but the reduced depth of the gates meant water poured over the top of each compartment tipping the ship's bow deep into the water. The weight of water would then take the ship down into the murky depths of the cold Atlantic Ocean.
Andrews, who was on board the ship at the time, told the Captain that when five of the compartments had flooded it was a 'mathematical certainty' that the ship would sink. It certainly did. The science involved taking over 1500 people to their deaths. This total included Thomas Andrews. You see how important STEM is? Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths can save or lose lives.
Copyright: National Archive
Mathematics is vital in ship design so our 6 year old Lego All-Stars were split into two teams to build their own ship after hearing the story of Thomas Andrews and his 'Titanic'.
One team even installed watertight bulkhead gates into their model and unlike the flawed 'Titanic', their bulkheads went up to 'B Deck'. Sadly they ran out of time to build lifeboats but they wanted to had time allowed.
What famous S.T.E.M designer from the past will our six-year old Lego All-Stars meet next Friday? Only time and #STEM will tell!
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