24th March 2017
Between the 2nd and 16th March, pupils across school took part in the 2nd annual STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Fortnight.
47 pupils across years 7-10 travelled down to the Big Bang Fair at the NEC in Birmingham to take part in lectures, shows, hands on activities and show stands promoting the vast array of career options within STEM subjects. For the Energy Quest, 60 year 8 pupils worked in teams to create a solar powered car and race them with the aid of the Smallpeice Trust and Tomorrow’s Engineers. On Wednesday 8th March pupils took the opportunity to chat online to a range of engineers about their jobs which included making artificial limbs and creating the perfect environment to grow a kidney. The Truck Trail was also launched, a unique event being delivered by Leyland Trucks, which is a local competition allowing pupils to create a design for a truck in 2050 which will then be made as a model prototype and feature as part of Leyland Festival in June.
The STEM Club have been working using the LEGO Mindstorms kit on the Tomorrow’s Engineers Robotics Challenge, using year 9 pupils as mentors to years 7 & 8. On Tuesday 7th March 10 pupils from years 7 & 8 travelled to Prestons College to take part in a regional competition against 14 other schools. Their challenge was to program, design and build a robot to complete 7 space challenges, an on the spot team challenge to build a bridge, a project presentation on How Humans Can Survive in Space, and a blog on whether engineers are as important as doctors.
Their presentation was fantastic and the judge engineers were astounded by their technical knowledge and excellent delivery. Very deservingly they won the overall Project Presentation Award. The team members were Elise Ainsworth, Erin Cookson, George Straker, Luke Dixon, Kate Adamson, Connor Watson, Jacob Walne, Edward Swarbrick, Sean Obi and Amber Sait. A special nomination was also given to Elise Ainsworth by the judges for her obvious hard work and dedication supporting the team.
STEM Fortnight exists to allow pupils access to projects and engineers, to consider real life practical challenges and understand the expansive link between STEM subjects and how we live our daily lives, from smart phones and food, transport and housing, to education and sport. None of these things would be possible without them. We were lucky to be supported by Mike Morgan, Stuart Downes and John Brennan as STEM Ambassadors, the Smallpeice Trust, Tomorrow’s Engineers, STEMFirst, Leyland Trucks and Engineering UK. Thank you to everyone both in and out of school that helped to make the fortnight so successful.