Miss R. Hooper, Curriculum Leader: Science, STEM Leader, writes:
On Tuesday 26th September, almost 90 of our Year 9’s had the privilege of participating in the RAF 100 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) day. It was a fun-filled day of hands on, STEM based activities linked to situations engineers of the RAF may be required to complete.
The day kick started with the ‘Chain Home’ activity where the teams were to construct a ‘radar tower’ with only paper straws and limited masking tape that was to hold as much mass as possible. Teams had to utilise their maths and science knowledge to consider the strength of a variety of shapes and had to cooperate to make the most of their limited time.
The next activity required the application of the students’ physics knowledge as they had to design, build and test an ‘aircraft’ that was powered using elastic potential energy. Thankfully, our Year 9’s are currently learning about energy transfers in science and it was great to see them discussing the impact of mass, friction and the requirements of aerodynamics to get their aircraft moving. There were many excellent designs and most worked!
After a presentation about the huge range of engineering roles in the RAF and the importance of studying STEM subjects at GCSE and beyond, students started their final task. This required programming a small robot which had to successfully navigate a ‘disaster zone’ course to reach survivors. This task required excellent team work, accuracy, planning and plenty of persistence for students to work out how to navigate the robot through the course.
The students worked exceptionally well and did themselves proud in what they produced. This meant that it was not easy to decide the overall winning group. There was however one team that demonstrated real persistence, giving them the edge over the others.
The day was a huge success and the students walked away with not only being able to see the applications of STEM subjects in real world contexts but we hope they are inspired to become the engineers of the future.
“The day has taught me about careers you can have in engineering and the importance of doing the best we can in our GCSE’s.” Charlotte Preston 9K
“I liked that we got to work well as a team and I enjoyed doing multiple tasks.” Joshua Young 9K
“I enjoyed the hands on work, especially programming the robot.” Alex Douglas 9A