Year 8 take part in STEM days

Thursday 15 September 2016

At the end the Summer Term, the Year 8 pupils enjoyed two amazing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) opportunities to enhance their learning.

The first was on Friday 17 June where the girls visited West Herts College to take part in a ‘Women in Technology’ initiative as part of the opening of the College’s Innovation Lab. The girls had the chance to try a number of different mini-experiences in STEM. They had a carousel of six sessions to give them a wide-range of ideas for future STEM career paths.

The activities included wiring an electronics board to make an amplifier, using a computer to programme a robotic arm, drawing a 3D shape using CAD software, handling and naming parts of a Formula 1 car engine, looking at green energy – solar and wind power, and finally (the favourite for most of the girls) a virtual welding experience. There were also representatives from several companies present throughout the day, including RES, BT, Meinhardt, Imagination and VolkerWesselsUK. The pupils were entertained and enthralled by the scope of the available practical tasks and the day was a great success.

After the students had completed their STEM activities they were congratulated by the College’s Principal, Gill Worgan, who said “It’s fantastic to see so many young aspiring engineers here to join in the celebrations.”

The girls wrote letters to the college thanking them for organising the day and the activities. Here are some thoughts from them:
“It was a great experience for all of us and we learnt a lot about engineering.” – Alex V
“I really enjoyed all the sessions. Especially the robots – they were really fun to use.” – Gaby
“It really opened my eyes to a different aspect of STEM.”  – Zoë

The second visit was to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Friday 1 June as part of the science Enrichment Week.

The pupils had the chance to go up the ArcelorMittal Orbit tower, which was designed by Turner-Prize winning artist Sir Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond of engineering group Arup. They were also able to view the former Olympic venue and see the London skyline.

The day continued with a visit to Shell ‘Make the Future’ London STEM fair. In this arena, there were activities, shows and interactive displays. The group also had the opportunity to watch the Shell Eco-Marathon – a unique competition challenging student teams from around the world to create the ultimate-energy-efficient vehicle, which was running on a track around the exhibits and the main arena. The day was interesting and informative, with lots of opportunities to get involved with hands-on activities. The girls returned with exciting ideas and great experiences from the day