STEM Day 14 March 2016 - Article by Year 9 Girls

STEM day was a promotion of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths within school to develop skills and encourage students to become involved with STEM studies and careers. During STEM day there was a range of different activities going on all aimed at developing STEM skills such as roller coaster building; designing and racing cars; igloo building and Zoolab where students found out about animals from the rainforest.

The Zoolab consisted of the year 7 and 8 students meeting rainforest animals such as snakes, spiders and snails. This was to inform them of different animal species and to help them to overcome and fears they may have of the creatures. This was really helpful as it was not only informative but the students could interact with the animals and see adaptations for themselves. Everyone was included throughout by holding, touching or just looking at the animals.

‘It's been scary but fun, and I've learnt a lot about the ecosystem in the rainforest.’

The roller coaster building involved year 8 and 9 students building models of roller coasters using only cardboard, paper and duct tape. This activity gave students an idea of what they would do in some of the technology GCSE courses and develop skills for STEM career in later life.  The skills used in this were creativity, problem solving and design as they had to come up with their own model.

‘The hardest part was making a design and making it stand up.’

The race car activity included year 8 and 9 students from STEM club designing original race car designs to compete with one another using a 20m track. The cars were created and decorated by the individual students and powered down the track at fast speeds. This was difficult as the students had to create streamline designs that were practical and could withstand the speed.  Even though the task was extremely hard and required many skills all students involved really enjoyed the activity.

‘My favourite part was designing the cars because we got to be creative.’

The igloo building was another activity completed by the students who went to STEM club. They built the igloo out of empty milk cartons. The igloo had to have a strong and sturdy structure to stay up. The students had to work as a team to build the igloo because of how big it was. To build the igloo the students had to use mathematical skills to find the circumference of the bottom layer, so they knew they were using the right amount of bottles. It took them around two and a half hours to build the igloo and over 500, 2 litre bottles.

‘We had to work as a team or we couldn't finish it!’

‘Trying to build the curve at the top was the most difficult.’

Overall the activities were challenging but enjoyable and creative. Everyone learnt vital skills for STEM related careers and the day was an eye opener for what those jobs would include. The skills include developing new designs, creativity, maths, science and overcoming previous fears, all of which are helpful for later life. 50% of all new jobs are STEM related so it is more important than ever to promote STEM and develop the skills required for STEM careers.

Written by Holly Dobbing and Jamie-Leigh Beaumont, Year 9.