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Year 7’s Inspired By STEM Day

On Wednesday 23rd November, our Year 7’s took part in a STEM Day, aimed at inspiring the next generation of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics students. Students were split into 6 groups and took part in a variety of related tasks.

Digital Pets

Those working up in ICT with Miss Bremner, Mr Girow, Mr Jones & Miss McEntee were programming BBC micro:bits to create a ‘Digital Pet’. They combined these Computing skills with Maths and Art to design costumes for their pets. They then put a Business Studies head on to think how best to market their creation for the Christmas market. Quite a lot of different subjects to incorporate in just 2 hours!

Catapults

Mrs Wigfall and Miss Cowderoy were working with students on creating catapults. The Year 7’s had to devise the best way to make a catapult that was not only strong enough to knock over a stack of plastic cups but also had the accuracy to land in a container in a separate test.

Flight

In the Main Hall, Miss Finnigan and Mrs Woolham’s group explored flight with paper aeroplanes. Here students looked at the effects of air movement over and under the wings providing an upward lift force, air pushing back against the plane creating a drag force, and the weight of the paper plane – with gravity pulling it down toward Earth.

Aluminium Boats

There was a nautical theme to Mr Hampson & Mr Finlay’s experiments down in Science, exploring buoyancy and weight distribution through the creation of boats. Students were given a piece of aluminium foil, 2 straws and 1 piece of sellotape and asked to model the strongest boat possible. The vessels were then placed in water and pennies added one at a time to see who’s could stay afloat the longest. The winning group won with exactly 100 pennies.

‘The Hand’

In Mr Davies’ DT room, he was joined by Mr Tam and Mr Miller to help students create ‘robot hands’ out of cardboard, elastic bands, straws, split pins and string. Their creations then came to life when the different combinations of strings were pulled, with groups being marked on their dexterity.

Micro:bit Astronaut

Students working with Mr Fennell and Mr Burton were programming BBC micro:bit devices to measure reaction speeds, and investigate the effect of distraction on reaction speed. The were then able to compare their reaction speeds to those of an astronaut – and each other – by using Excel to plot their speeds and work out their mean result.

Mrs Wigfall, who helped organise the day, was full of praise for the Year 7’s:

“I’m really happy with how enthusiastic everybody has been, they’ve come away from the tasks with a real sense of excitement for continuing their STEM work in their normal lessons. When I asked the students what they thought of the afternoon, the overwhelming response was that they’d had loads of fun!”