Last week was British Science week and Durrington had its own STEM week led by the Science department and Steph Temple. The aim of the week was to raise the profile of STEM and to inspire Key Stage 3 students to pursue STEM subjects further, discover career opportunities and aspire to reach a higher level. During the week, students participated in various workshops, competitions and cross-curricular activities related to STEM.
In Science, Year 9 students took part in the Durrington Grand Prix. This involved students collaboratively designing electric cars to see how far they would travel. It was great to see students engaged with the design process and discussing complex issues such as aerodynamics and downforce, in the hope of making their cars travel further. This not only challenged the student’s thinking (and creativity) but also developed their knowledge of forces and energy stores. In Year 7 and 8 students were tasked with designing and building a wind turbine. There was a direct, local link to this activity as many students are aware of the Rampian Offshore Wind Farm, in Worthing. Again, students were challenging themselves and solving problems within their teams to increase the amount of power produced by their wind turbines.
In PE, The Medical Mavericks ran workshops with a ‘Challenge the Champions’ theme. The activities covered many different skills such as: how much power students could generate on a bike; how fast they could throw a ball; how far they could jump from a standing start and how fast they could run over 10m. All of these activities investigated how science and technology is being used to assess how athlete’s can improve their performance.
In Business and Computing, students were using microbits to practice their coding skills. This inspired students to learn how technology can be used to develop new programmes and how their creativity can be used in a variety of forms.
In Geography, students investigated how technology can be used to help people overcome some of the problems that exist on the planet. Students examined how scientists are using drones to map the areas of the Maldives which are at the greatest risk of sea level rise. This then allows, the government of the Maldives, to plan effectively for the future.
In MFL, students were learning how to explain the processes of growing a plant in French. This helped students to develop their French vocabulary but within a scientific context. The students also considered how the use of technology can be used within languages through the development of translators.
Students also visited the STEM Big Bang Fair in Bognor Regis where they listened to presentations on robotics and watched nanobots in action. The students also learnt about life on the International Space Station and how technology and science is being used to push the limits of human life further.
The week culminated in a STEM fair at Durrington. This was an opportunity for the KS3 students to display the work that they had completed during the week and share with parents/carers what they had learnt. There was also representation from local colleges and business to inspire the students with information about potential STEM related careers.
Phoebe Bence had presented the previous 15 Minute Forum about the importance of STEM and it was great to see our KS3 students engaged in so many activities related to STEM. Science, technology, engineering and maths play an important role in modern society and will continue to do so. As a result, it is important to continue to develop student’s understanding of these subjects and inspire their creative and problem-solving skills.
Posted by Martyn Simmonds