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Year 8 STEM Students Undertake ‘The Faraday Challenge’

On Friday 11th November, we were joined by Becky, our Challenge Leader from the Institution of Engineering and Technology who ran the ‘Faraday Challenge’. The day was aimed at getting students using STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) skills and knowledge, while encouraging the development of students’ problem solving, team working and communication skills.

36 Year 8 students were grouped into teams of 6 and asked to assign roles amongst themselves – including managerial, accountancy and engineering positions. Teams then had to ascertain what problems the Land Rover BAR Sailing Team could come across when out on the ocean, and go on to program a BBC Micro Bit to solve those problems. Miss Finnigan from DT ran a shop – an opportunity for the accountants in each team to purchase components to test out with their devices.

Becky from IET was hugely impressed by our students’ work on the day:

“The teams have shown fantastic engineering skills and teamwork. This morning they were set a very open-ended challenge to do with helping the athletic performance of the Land Rover BAR Team in the Americas Cup. It was up to the students in their teams to work out what problems they could solve, and how they were going to solve them.

The teams have used their coding skills, their design skills and a whole host of STEM skills today and have been really impressive in developing ideas and presenting them to the rest of the group. They have really risen to the challenge today”

After much deliberation, and very few points separating all 6 teams, the overall winners of the day were judged to be Team 2 who showed consistency across all aspects of the task – winning a trophy for South Wirral High School. They have also been entered into the national competition, where the top three teams across the UK will get an all expenses paid trip to the National Final to compete for a cash prize of up to £1,000 for the school. Good luck Team 2!

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Here’s what our students thought of the day:

“I thought it was a great experience. It was a fun way to learn and be with your friends” – Charlotte

 

“It was a good experience because we learnt how to code throughout the day. We were coding the micro bit in different ways” – Josh

 

“Some of the challenges were stressful but once we all pulled together it felt a lot easier. Near the end of the day when we were almost finished, it felt good to see how much effort everyone had put in” – Autumn

 

“This day was an amazing experience. It would inspire many to engineer and invent. We all enjoyed coding a buzzer to tell when the micro bit (the boat) tilted” – Duncan