At the beginning of June Bishop Luffa School entered two teams into a STEM day hosted at Bourne Community College. The pupils had a day of fun and interactive hands-on team activities and challenges. These included coding and building radio controlled BattleBots, VEX Robotics challenges and Virtual Reality racing.
The pupils were encouraged to think like an engineer and develop engineering habits of mind such as creative problem solving, collaboration skills and generating and adapting ideas. They also heard from real-life professionals from the engineering sector who shared stories of how they went from school to become experts in their STEM field.
The shortage of a workforce with STEM skills is well documented. Collaborative opportunities like this improves perceptions amongst young learners and helps to support the aspirations of those who wish to become the engineers of the future.
Here’s what some of our pupils’ thought of the day:
Toby Sellors (7King), “I really enjoyed experimenting with the different activities, like the Microbits and VR welding. My favourite activity was the Battlebots challenge, where we built a robot to play football and to sumo wrestle. I found this day really fun and inspiring and it helped me understand STEM more.”
Alex Wilburn (7Otter), “My favourite part of the day was the VR welding and the robot battle-especially as we got in to the finals. I found the engineers’ talks really interesting and I found out so much more about what different engineers do. This really has made me want to be an engineer even more.”
Katie Mason (8Sherborne), “I think that the STEM Challenge day was really fun and I learned loads! My favourite part of the day was when me and Manka were the first group that completed the VEX Robots challenge as it felt like it was a massive achievement and that we could do most things if we tried hard enough.”
Manka Vecsei (8Wilson), “The STEM engineering and science challenge day was a memorable and fun day with lots of interactive activities to take part in throughout the day. The best part of it for me was programming vex robots which I did successfully. I also enjoyed the panel where two engineers and two scientists told us about their struggles, opportunities and benefits about their jobs.”
Olivia Ashton (7Ridgeway), “The STEM day was packed with incredible activities, at the end I felt inspired. Over the course of the day we were supported and encouraged to try and think like real engineers and take part in some challenges we had so much fun and we all came out with a new vision of our future and the future of STEM.”
Seth Swain (9King), “I really enjoyed the STEM day and I especially enjoyed the battle bots because we had to build the bot then customise it to the activity it needed to do. I also enjoyed the talk as we were able to find out about careers in chemical engineering - something I did not know about before.”
Tom Uren (9King), “I had a great time at the STEM day including learning about engineering careers, learning the best tactics with battle-bots, and the use of the vortex towers activity. We came second in the sumo wrestling battle-bots which was very fun! I learnt how to use the virtual welding machine which seemed to be a struggle at first but I got the hang of it in the end. Overall a very fun and interesting day!”
Mrs Helen Williams, Teacher of Computer Science