Engaging in STEM
What is STEM?
At its core STEM education means educating students in the four subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. STEM combines all four subjects in an interdisciplinary and applied approach to better equip students for their future career. The four subjects are collectively shortened to the acronym STEM.
STEM education teaches students far more than the individual concepts of each subject discipline. The focus is on practical, hands-on learning with real world applications that develop a broad and varied set of skills. These skills include social skills, communication, flexibility, initiative, problem solving, creativity, curiosity, decision making, entrepreneurship, innovation, critical thinking, leadership, resilience and dealing with failure.
Testing the strength of paper
Some students in Year 7 have been involved in designing and manufacturing a simple structure out of paper and testing how much weight it could support. Students were very limited on the resources they were able to use for this challenge and had to support a 5Kg load 50mm above the table using only 1 sheet of A4 paper and 100mm of tape. Impressively half of the students managed this challenge which initially they thought would be impossible. To make the challenge even harder students repeated the activity with half the amount of paper and amazingly some students were able to complete that challenge successfully.
Well done Year 7.
The Daleks are coming!!
A group of very keen engineers from a variety of year groups have set themselves the challenge of manufacturing a full size, fully working Dalek from the Dr Who television series. Students are spending their lunch times working in the workshop to realise their goal of completing this project. So far, students have utilised the 3D printer to complete the lights for the head and eye stalk, they have completed the electronics for first version of the voice modulator that produces the distinctive Dalek voice and also flashes the lights in time to the speaking Dalek and they are using their skills in working with wood to produce the skirt and base for the Dalek. There is still some way to go before the Dalek will be able to wander around the school but it is so great to see the students working so hard and using their problem-solving skills to make complex pieces of the Dalek and then to fit them all together. Students were able to demonstrate their work so far and the open evening and many families will already have experienced turning their voice into the voice of the Dalek.
- On the 19th November Medway Education Business Partnership will be coming into school to work for the morning with all Year 9 students who study Design and Technology to gain some hands-on practical problem-solving experience. Students will take part in the K’Nex Design and build challenge where they will work in pairs to design and make a K’Nex model from a brief and demonstrate their models to the rest of the group; the best functioning design that is closest to the brief will be declared winner.
- The Science department have successfully managed to partner with the Ogden Trust to plan and implement a Science based project within the school. The initial planning meeting for this activity will be taking place early in November and we will keep you updated as the plans unfold.
- The school has also signed up to take part in ‘The Robotics Challenge’ run by the group ‘Learn by Design’. In this activity students will build and programme a Lego Mindstorms robot to perform a number of different challenges. They may then be able to compete against other schools to test their robots at regional finals.