14 Mar The Year 8 and 9 STEM Day @ Whitley Academy
By Cam-Ron – Year 9 student reporter,
edited by Mrs Nguyen
On February 1st 2022 Years 8 and 9 had a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) day. This reporter will bring you what happened, how those who got involved enjoyed and how the day went.
For the first task, the students were assigned to build a paper tower, with the weight on top having to be at least 5cm above the ground with no extra help or equipment. Just the paper and one’s imagination. Here is how some of the students felt during this experiment.
Lily-Anne (year 9):
“It was challenging at times, but when we accomplished it. The feeling was great.”
Hassan (Year 9):
“It was a great experience, I learnt a lot and I am very proud of my work.”
I believe all the students had fun and found it a bit challenging, at first it was tricky but when they got the gist of things it was a fun experience. After all students settled down, the teacher started to talk about the four necessary needs of flight: lift, thrust, weight and drag.
Next, the students had to try and make a mini aircraft using straws and paper. When the job was finished, the wings were tested. This evaluation would show how far the planes could travel and overall show the best planes.
Rylan (year 9) reflected:
“The task was tricky, but I persevered and finished before most.”
The next task was about throwing aeroplanes in the air individually and collectively as a team. There were two very happy winners at the end of the test. The students found it very amusing and had a great time.
Now, the engineering task. The students were tasked with making a circuit plane. They were given roles such as team leaders, finance managers, product designers, electronics designers, resource managers and marketing managers. Participants also had to “pitch and market” their planes, naming they had to make a company name, aircraft name, a logo and branding. In terms of timing, the pitches couldn’t be longer than 3 minutes and students had to make a marketing poster and come up with their sales strategy.
Here are the teachers and students’ side of how they think it went.
Mr Majithia – Curriculum Leader for Science – said ….
“It was so amazing to see so many of our Year 8s and 9s working together, being positive role models and creating such wonder designs. Our presenter made it clear that some of our designs amongst the best she has seen. Whitley Students have done our proud yet again!”
Jahmarii (Year 8) added:
“I am enjoying the electronic engineering task and I enjoy doing a group task. This opportunity is great.”
To do the real test, the students were escorted outside and lined up to throw their creations – the aeroplanes. The laughter, the chat amongst many students showed how much we enjoyed the STEM Day.
Soon it was home time for us all.
Let’s see how the teachers who took part in the event think…
Zara Cummings, the fantastic Smallpiece Trust coordinator who ran the day reflected:
“Today has been so much fun! I have thoroughly enjoyed getting involved in the aircraft projects with year 8 and 9. You definitely have some future engineers amongst you!”
Rebecca Sanderson, our link from the Royal Academy of Engineering stated:
“It has been fantastic to come in and see the students getting so involved with the glider project, I’m sure there are plenty of future engineers at Whitley Academy who can be supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering.”
And finally, some words from the Man who made this day happen, Mr Foode – Deputy Curriculum Leader for Science:
“The year 8 and year 9 students worked so well together and really impressed our visitors. The gliders worked brilliantly and the students were a real credit to Whitley, all while showing an amazing enthusiasm for engineering.”
If the some of the mottos of both Royal Academy of Engineer and Smallpeice Trust are to ‘dare to imagine with engineering’ and inspire young people into engineering,–the reaction of the students throughout the day has proven that the target has been met.
“Science can amuse and fascinate us all, but it is engineering that changes the world.”
—Isaac Asimov, American writer, Professor of Biochemistry