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Maths Inspiration Trip

Mrs K Coldwell, STEM Leader: Mathematics, writes:

On Thursday 5th December, a select group of Year 11 and Year 12 students made their way to the Phoenix Theatre in the West End for one of the annual Maths Inspiration shows. With the set of the hit musical “Come From Away” as a backdrop, the group of Stanborough students alongside several hundred others from other schools heard short talks from four of the biggest names in maths communication.

We arrived just in time to hear Matt Parker (author of “Adventures in the Fourth Dimension” and “Humble Pi” as well as TV, radio and YouTube regular) introducing the first talk, which was delivered by Rob Eastaway, also a well-known author of popular maths books, who spoke about “Maths on the Back of an Envelope”.  He explored a class of problems called Fermi problems (after another mathematician) and asked questions such as “How many sausages will be eaten in Britain today?”  This was followed by Hannah Fry (also a best-selling author and regular on television and radio) giving us a preview of this year’s Royal Institution Christmas Lectures on “Secrets and Lies” which will be presented by her on Boxing Day, December 27th and December 28th. All will be televised on BBC 4 at 8pm each evening. The final talk was given by Colin Wright on the topic of “Patterns and Predictions” and involved lots of humour and juggling. At the end of the day, we felt privileged to have seen so many gifted maths communicators in one place demonstrating the usefulness and intrigue of
different areas of mathematics.

Very enjoyable – the speakers were entertaining, and the maths was suitably mind-boggling.” Annabel Dunstan, 11A

“I’m inspired to learn how to juggle, but I probably won’t.Jack Moylan, 11O


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Maths Challenges

Mrs Coldwell, STEM Leader, Mathematics, writes:

Stanborough have participated in a number of mathematical challenges over the term. This started with the Mathematical Olympiad for Girls, taken by Kono Washio (Y13) and Jodie Garg (BHG, Y12) back on 8th October. This was a 2.5 hour paper requiring full written solutions to a set of five very challenging questions. Kono and Jodie each got full marks in one question (and not the same question either!) and picked up a few marks in other questions to achieve very respectable scores overall.

The Senior Maths Challenge followed about a month later on the 7th November. The challenge is designed for sixth formers but a number of talented younger mathematicians also took part. Excellent performances by Joshua Long (Y12) and Jack Moylan (Y11) earned them both Gold certificates and Best in Year. Joshua was also named Best in School. Both Joshua and Jack qualified for the Kangaroo follow-on round which took place on the occasional day Friday 29th November and they forfeited their well-earned lie-in to take part. Silver certificates in the Senior Maths Challenge went to Rory Satterley-Hull and Behram Printer, who were joint Best in Year for Year 13; and also to Thomas Cranham, Luke Mawer and Kono Washio in Year 13; James Mann, Charlie Earnshaw and Jack Hamer in Year 12;  Thomas Farran in Year 11 and Joshua Imafidon in Year 10. Bronze certificates were awarded to Mattia Salsi, Louisa Jennings and Harry Cross in Year 13; Aaron Johnson, Amy Williamson and Florence Spreyer in Year 12; Charles Greasby and Jack Hadley in Year 10 and Aidan Wadley in Year 8.

All students had the opportunity to enter various competitions during Maths Week England from 11th– 16th November. Year 12 Core Maths students entered a competition using data visualisation to illustrate the climate impact of Christmas jumpers, with entries from Helena Rosario and Lewis Budd being particularly imaginative and thought-provoking. Students also completed Maths Week quizzes in their tutor groups, with especially strong entries from Brocket and Knebworth.

Finally, the Senior Team Maths Challenge took place on 27th November at Merchant Taylors’ School in Middlesex. The team of Behram Printer, Kono Washio, Charlie Earnshaw and Sean Davies produced excellent results in the first two rounds: the group questions and the crossnumber. Although they found the shuttle round harder, they still finished in a very respectable 5th place among a strong field of 20 teams. This turned out to be the highest place of any fully comprehensive state-funded school in the competition. Well done to all of our talented mathematicians.


Multiple Maths 2019 4w

STEM – Multiple Maths Challenges

Mrs K. Coldwell, KS5 and G&T Leader, Maths, writes: 

Last week saw Stanborough competing in two different team maths challenges and achieving success in both. On Tuesday, the County Year 7 Team Maths Challenge was held here at Stanborough with a total of 10 teams from other schools competing alongside the two Stanborough teams. Amy Ferry, Maggie Moylan, Daniel Harrington, Aidan Wadley, Lily Reding, Alexis Lyall, Maya Hirani and Tameem Alom worked through a series of rounds involving general maths questions, estimation and memory. Lily, Alexis, Maya and Tameem came second place overall, automatically qualifying for the final in Stevenage in April. Aidan, Daniel, Amy and Maggie came fourth overall but still qualified for the final as high-scoring runners up.

On Wednesday, a group of Year 10s travelled to Barnwell School in Stevenage for the Advanced Maths Support Programme’s local Year 10 Maths Feast. Jack Moylan, Annabel Dunstan, Ellie-Anne Hart and Katie Jeffrey made up one team while Sam Morfill, Janis Benhacene, Thomas Farran and Hannah Davis made up the other. Our minibus companions, Monks Walk, came first overall in terms of points, but Jack, Annabel, Ellie-Anne and Katie were advised that they were also in the top third of the 18 teams competing. In addition, the supervising teacher for Sam, Janis, Thomas and Hannah’s team commented that they “worked very collaboratively and were supportive of each other,” which was very pleasing to hear.

Well done to all competitors!

The competition was very enjoyable. I surprised myself with how well we overcame the challenges to place respectably!” Annabel Dunstan, 10A

“It was a good competition and we did well to come fourth, but I would have liked to have done even better.” Aidan Wadley, 7H


F1 in Schools 2019 1

F1 in Schools


Mrs M. Ridgeon,  Y10 Leader writes:

On Friday 15th February, the last day of half term, Mr Green and I took nine students from Y10 to the 2019 UK Regional Finals for F1 in Schools UK competition.  The event was held in Orpington and run from 8.30am till 4.30pm.  The students, led by myself and Mr Green, had been working towards this for eight weeks, but most teams we were going up against had either been working on it for longer, or taken part in a final before.  Our nine students were part of two teams: QUILLION and PROJECT S.  With the help of Mr Bell, Mr Beevor, Miss Shah, Mr Christodoulou, Mr Schofield we were able to enter a car from each time into the competition, after many a failed 3D printing attempt!

Ella Griffin, 10B, Team Leader for Quillion writes:

The competition consisted of the marketing, enterprise and engineering of your own mini version of a F1 car. As a team we produced two portfolios one for engineering and one for enterprise, which would be judged on as well as the racing of the car. Throughout the day we were judged on each element of the project, which included a review of both portfolios, assessment of our pit display, the actual racing of our car and a verbal presentation. Due to not having a lot of experience in the competition we felt a little disheartened looking at our opponents pit displays and portfolios however, that didn’t last long and we saw it as a learning experience and were thrilled to win the award for our pit display due to our homemade wind tunnel and aerodynamic testing videos. Overall the day was more of a success than we expected and all of us would love to have another go as we now have a better understanding, which will hopefully push us to win.F1 in Schools 2019 2

“A fantastic experience which our team have learnt a lot from.” Archie Jennings 10K

“An enjoyable trip providing the team with both experience and ideas.” Louis Ross 10H

“It was very interesting to see the ideas of others and draw inspiration from their designs.” Joshua Gaydon 10A

Overall as leader of Year 10 I couldn’t have been more proud of them, I believe it is events like this which can inspire students into specific pathways and I can’t wait to return, hopefully with them and more students, later this calendar year.


Robot Rumble June 2018

Robotics Rumble

Lauren Sanders 7O, writes:

On Friday 22nd June Stanborough’s new Robotics team visited MBDA in Stevenage to compete in the launch event for the annual Robot Rumble Competition.

We had a great time building our robot. When we arrived there was a presentation on the judging scheme, the build and the main event; it sounded so fun. After that we started to build our robot; there were technical challenges with the coding but we got through them. Then we started to properly build the robot. After careful planning we had finally designed the perfect robot, it was light but had a good centre of gravity, the friction and grip of the wheels worked well with the weight and height of the robot. We used an elastic band to organise the cables. There were lots of fiddly parts so we had to use the spanners and Allen keys.

We spent a lot of time getting the right wheels, eventually choosing the medium sized wheels with good friction levels so we could hit the balls into the goal at the end of the coned course (a World Cup theme, of course!). When it was finally time to have our first try at getting around the course it went well but we crashed into a few cones which deducted some seconds off our final time. After our first try we had lunch and got ready for our 2nd try, we also made a mini replica of the course to test on. On the second go we had almost no mistakes but just before we went to go to the track one of our wheels loosened so we had to do a quick repair. After the 2nd try we managed to beat our time and we scored all three goals and didn’t hit any cones. Our final time was 7 seconds, a great score! On the leader board we finished in 5th place, a really good place! Thank you to our amazing mentor, Daniel, we couldn’t have done it without you! It was a really fun day, mostly because we worked as a team and had an amazing time.

“It was a great experience, I enjoyed it all and had an amazing time.” Isabel Verlander (7O)

“I learnt about torque (engineering).” Harry Beale (8B)

“My favourite part was building the robot because it was exciting and we had to think outside the box.” Eliezer Lagman (7BM)

“I was so impressed with our new robotics team, they showed excellent communication and team working skills! I look forward to seeing how they do in the next two events.” Mr Benzid


Y12 stem June2018 5w

Arconic Stem Challenge

Joshua Wardle, 12O, writes,

On Thursday 14th June, two teams of five Year 12 students headed to Sherrardswood School to compete in the Arconic Challenge. The goal of the challenge was to design and conceptualise a plan to reduce carbon emissions in the UK by up to 40% by 2030. Over the course of the day, we had to write a Concept Paper outlining our idea, create a presentation and face questioning from the judges about our ideas. There was extra pressure to create a good presentation as the Mayor of Welwyn Hatfield, Barbara Fitzsimon, was watching!

Both teams created some exceptionally innovative ideas, including measuring CO2 emissions using air filters and taxing drivers based on this; using bioplastics for the chassis of the car and using electrolysis to turn CO2 emissions into a usable biofuel while the car was running! Both teams were eloquent and well-spoken in their ideas.

Before this main challenge, we also competed in an ‘icebreaker’ challenge – to design a flying car. Needless to say, the passengers in our vehicles probably wouldn’t have survived the trip! At the end of the day, the Onslow team won with their ‘P.O.D.S’ idea, although both Stanborough teams were commended for their effort. The trip made for an engaging day and I’d like to thank our hosts from Arconic for running the event.


Go4Set at Ocado May 2018 1

Go4SET at Ocado

Mrs K. Coldwell, KS5 and G&T Leader, Maths, writes:

Go4Set at Ocado May 2018 2Fifteen Year 8 and 9 students made the very short journey to Ocado’s head office in Hatfield on Monday to kick off a STEM project on the theme of Eco-Factories. The students formed themselves into three teams and after an introduction to Ocado, the Go4SET scheme and some key principles of project management, the teams set to work on a challenge to build a high structure capable of holding a significant weight out of art straws and masking tape. All three Stanborough teams took a creative and analytical approach to the task and came up with effective designs, but the team of Alan Del Ciampo 9O, Phoebe Gordon 9S, Ellie-Anne Hart 9A, Mia Walsh 9S and Izzy Wilkins 9H, built the structure which held the most weight of any in the room. Unfortunately, they narrowly missed winning the overall prize as another team had a taller structure.

After the building challenge, the serious business of the day continued with the introduction of the Ocado staff who would be mentoring the teams. After getting to know one another, the teams and mentors began brainstorming ideas for their Eco-Factories, considering what products the factories might be manufacturing and how they might do so sustainably. There was a short break for lunch and then the highlight of the day was a tour of the Ocado warehouse, a building the size of four football pitches spread over five floors, containing a complex network of conveyor belts and home to a combination of automated and human-driven processes. Students experienced the -22°C freezer area (although not for long), had the opportunity to manually bag the plastic totes used for collecting orders and then saw the multi-million-pound machine which Ocado developed to make the process more efficient. The Ocado team member responsible for the bagging area reminded students that their choices at school could either help them to prepare for a job like manual bagging or for a role as an engineer designing and improving the advanced machinery.
The project is now in the students’ hands. With the help of their mentors, they will generate and research ideas and then formulate a report, presentation and display stand to convey their ideas to others.

“It really was an amazing opportunity, and I really enjoyed both the activities and the tour.” Elitsa Ilieva 8A

IET Faraday Challenge

The Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) Faraday Challenge