A Chesterfield pupil has used the lockdown period very productively – by creating his very own time travel machine.
Inspired by the adventures of Doc Brown and Marty McFly, Thomas Whileman, who goes to St Peter & St Paul School on Hady Hill, built the device as part of a project on explorers and exploration.
Powered by Thomas’ homemade plutonium and equipped with its own flux capacitor, Thomas travelled back to 1945 in his time machine and recorded his experiences on a video he has now posted on YouTube.
Jill Phinn, Headteacher at St Peter & St Paul School, said: “The imagination that Thomas and his parents have shown in creating a time machine, with lights, smoke machines and an array of different parts, is fantastic.
“When we set the project over lockdown for our children to look at different ways of exploring our past, we hoped that it would be one that really inspired our pupils to think innovatively and creatively. It would be safe to say, however, that we never expected something on this scale!”
The machine took around 30 hours to complete, and was made using an old water tank, a computer, pipes and a significant amount of duct tape and silver spray. A smoke machine was even incorporated to add to the experience.
Thomas’s Dad, Gary said: “I am not sure who enjoyed doing the project more to be honest, Thomas or myself.
“The school was brilliant during lockdown, and we got lots of support and ideas to keep our children learning. It was great to see Thomas so engaged in what he was doing, and on the back of this he was challenged to do some creative writing about the experience. If we are honest, we all just had a lot of fun.”
Mrs Phinn added: “We are so proud of Thomas for what he has achieved. We even got Thomas and his family to bring in the time machine to the school so that the children who have returned could see what he had made.
“It was important that we thought differently and innovatively about how we kept our children engaged during the difficult last few months, and it has been great to see the pupils and their families respond to this.”