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STEM Challenge Day
24th February 2010
Fifty year 8 students got a first hand experience of the exciting work done by science graduates when they attended
The day was opened by Science Made Simple’s Huw James who gave the ‘Rough Guide to Engineering’ interactive show. Student’s found out how engineers design cars that go hundreds of miles an hour, build structures that can survive earthquakes, and cook food using only mirrors! One student commented: “It was fun watching the experiments and I learnt about different engineers.”
Students then worked in school teams on an STEM challenge – to design, build and test a wind turbine – delivered by the Louise Duncan from the Smallpeice Trust. Students enjoyed the challenges posed by working in a group: “I enjoyed working with people who aren't necessarily my friends at school to come up with an effective design that included all of our ideas.” This sentiment was shared by someone else: “It was fun and interactive. It helped us with our teamwork skills.”
Students also appreciated the creative aspect to the challenge: “It was a great way of finding out about engineering, and it was creative and good fun.” Another student commented “We did something creative and fun.”
Throughout the challenge the teams were supported by David Grice, an engineer who works for
Whilst the teams were busy working on the challenge, the teachers undertook some CPD delivered by Helen Martin, the local authorities Science Advisor, on how to take the days activities back into the classroom.
The day concluded by testing each team’s turbine. The competitive element didn’t stop everyone cheering each team to success. Every team successfully completed the challenge and produced a working wind turbine, and all students were awarded with a certificate.
Feedback from students and teachers indicates the day was a huge success. Asked to say what they liked about the day one student wrote: “It brought us together as a school team and also taught us about engineering.” When asked the same question a teacher commented: “The day challenged and engaged students. I was a little surprised at how well the groups worked together, it was very good. I also managed to steal some ideas!”