STEM Affinity Water Challenge Dec2017 2

Affinity Water Challenge

Katie McClymont,10O, writes: 

STEM Affinity Water Challenge Dec2017 1On Tuesday 28th November, our class was met with a visionary lesson, courtesy of Affinity Water, that put our STEM skills to the test.

Following an assembly held by Affinity Water on how their water infrastructure functions and makes use of STEM, we were introduced to our lesson by an Affinity Water representative.

On each desk was a large box, which contained all the parts necessary to complete the activity, and a large map. The activity was for each group to construct their own 3D water network system on the large 2D map, using the equipment supplied. The aim was to ensure the water network allocated water to each customer stated on the map, but also complied to the rules set such as only crossing a railway or river via a bridge.

The equipment granted was as follows: six containers (customers), one water tower container, one height-adjustable platform, 40 sections of long pipe, 15 sections of short pipe, 30 2-way-in-line connectors, 10 2-way 90° connectors, 10 3-way T connectors and an additional A3 map for planning.

As soon as the explanation was over, we had to immediately get to work in order to finish before the end of the 20 minute time limit.

Without a doubt, there was a wave of frantic effort throughout the class as everybody hastily joined together pieces of pipe and connectors. The activity certainly required a lot of social skills, like teamwork, as well as STEM skills, like estimating how much water pressure to set. The restrictions made on not crossing various areas also proved to be frustrating for some.

It was not long before the time was up and our water networks were up for judgement. Two groups were chosen to be judged before the end of the lesson, and had water poured into their water network to test if it really worked. All the spectators had the duty of being judges, and it was fair to say there was some degree of competitive bias. Luckily both groups successfully transported water through their system in a short amount of time.

In summary, we gained experience in industrial-style practical science: a valuable lesson for those aspiring to work in the STEM career sector.

Inaugral Penrose Lecture Nov2017 2w

Inaugral Penrose Lecture

Inaugral Penrose Lecture Nov2017 1wMrs K. Coldwell, KS5 and G&T Leader, Maths, writes:

After a long postponement due to Professor Hawking’s ill health, four Stanborough students were able to attend the Inaugural Penrose Lecture on Quantum Black Holes, given by Stephen Hawking at the Mathematical Institute at Oxford University during the October half-term. Tawsif Chowdhury, Hannah Imafidon, Christopher Illes-Wilbourn and Joseph Lowton, all in Year 12, spent over two hours travelling to Oxford to hear the one-hour talk but all agreed that the journey was more than worth it for this once in a lifetime experience. The opportunity to hear renowned theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking speak live on his own work with Roger Penrose and more recent work with others was the main draw of the event. Students also walked over Penrose tiles at the entrance to the Mathematical Institute, only to hear the introduction of Professor Hawking’s lecture given by his colleague, Sir Roger Penrose, as they sat in the Andrew Wiles building, directly behind Sir Andrew Wiles himself! So two of the most famous living British mathematicians were also part of the package! Such was the inspiration of this event and others like it, that Joseph Lowton made his own way to the public lecture which Andrew Wiles gave on the 28th November at the Science Museum in London.

STEM Quadcopter 2017 3

STEM Update

Raytheon Quadcopter Regional Final

Alan Del Ciampo, Archie Jennings and Ptolemy Carnell, write:

On Friday 10th November, a group of eight Year 9 engineering students embarked a minibus to travel to the Raytheon Quadcopter STEM Challenge Regional Final in Harlow.

They had built their drones from a list of parts and instructions. They had to work as a team and use their engineering knowledge to construct it.

However, they had to decorate their drones too. The theme was WW1 and both teams had to pick an animal that helped in The Great War.

Team A picked a carrier pigeon. They vacuum formed a pigeon head and used the 3D printer to attach legs.

Team B picked a dog. They got inspiration from Sergeant Stubby (the first dog to get the rank of Sergeant) The dog was made from wooden cut outs which were velcroed to the drone.

After countless hours spent after school, preparing and building the drone, they needed to practice flying. This was done at school on the field – a softer landing on grass to avoid breaking parts before the final. They still managed to break numerous rotors and rotor guards.

On the day, both Quadcopters were tested thoroughly before flying and one needed a motor change. Two courses were attempted and both were still working well, despite a couple of heavy landings. More repairs were needed and duct tape was called for when spare rotor guards and legs ran out.

Both teams managed to keep flying until the end of the competition and valuable flying tips were learnt. A most enjoyable day and many thanks to Raytheon for the opportunity to build and fly a Quadcopter.


Miss R. Hooper, Curriculum Leader: Science, STEM Leader, writes:

On Friday 11th November, a group of A Level STEM students went to visit Roche to participate in their Generationext event. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company who research and produce medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases and diseases of the central nervous system. The aim of the visit was to get students to consider the applications of STEM A Levels in an industry that is at the forefront of research and development.

The day started with Dr Hannah Critchlow, a neuroscientist from Cambridge University ‘Demystifying the Human Brain’ by explaining how our 1.5kg mass of brain tissue produces our unique view of the world.

The students then had two hours of workshops where they saw and had first-hand experience of the STEM in real world contexts, from using virtual reality headsets to learning whether it is possible to communicate with aliens! Finally, the day was rounded-off with a presentation from Professor Shafi Ahmed, a cancer surgeon at The Royal London and St Bartholomew’s Hospitals. He explained the developments of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in training surgeons around the world to make safe surgery affordable and accessible for all.

‘The visit was very interesting as it showed the various aspects of the STEM industry and how they could be married together for a useful purpose.’ Isaac Cheng

‘I enjoyed listening to Dr. Hannah Critchlow and Professor Shafi Ahmed as they inspired me with their strong determination and contributions to science and medical research in order to help millions of people across the globe.’ Hamzah Hussain

‘The whole day made me more interested in how technology can be used in science and how, in the future, it will play a huge role in everyday jobs.’ Jessica Elsley

MBDA 2 Nov2017 2

Engineer for a Day

Miss C Burnham, Curriculum Leader: Design and Technology, writes:

MBDA 1 Nov2017Last Friday I went to MBDA in Stevenage with six Year 8 girls to take part in a new event, “Engineer for a Day”. The event was predominantly female-focused, with the idea of giving girls an opportunity to have a go at being an engineer for day and to work alongside the female MBDA engineers.

The girls were given lots of information about MBDA as a company; what they do, what it is like to work for them and the different routes into engineering as a career. During lunch time they were able to talk to female engineers, all at different stages in their careers, some who were on apprenticeships and others who had worked for many years in various different roles.

The main focus of the day was taking part in a real life engineering challenge where the girls had to design, build and test a structure which could transport tomatoes for the farmers in Nepal, where living on the mountainside and getting them to the market involves a long, dangerous walk down the mountain side and over a river, at the end of which the tomatoes may well be a bit squashed! The girls did a fantastic job at building and presenting their rope pulley system to transport the tomatoes, none of which were squashed when they got to the bottom!

The day was excellent! It was great for the girls to have the freedom to make their own design decisions and build their own design, whilst having the great support from MBDA engineers, who worked with them for the whole day.

There was no competitive element to the day but well done to Libby Gilbank, Zainab Umarah, Chloe Emerick, Holly Clayton, Chloe Kunjasic and Emma Hudson for being awarded a CREST Discovery award and being fantastic engineers!


STEM Family Challenge Oct2017 1w

STEM Family Challenge