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