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Army Outreach Team Delivers STEM Sessions For Year 9

17 Feb

The British Army STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) outreach team visited Princethorpe College before half term to deliver a series of workshops to Year 9 pupils.

The curriculum aligned interactive workshops gave pupils a chance to test their critical thinking, teamwork, perseverance, and leadership skills to overcome real-world challenges.

Pupils participated in ‘Disaster Relief’, the scene was set with a video of the 2005 earthquake that devastated Kathmandu, Nepal. Pupils’ task was to provide much needed humanitarian aid in the aftermath of the natural disaster and required the teams to build a Lego Mindstorms robot (with no instructions) from scratch, programme it and use it to locate people trapped beneath the rubble caused by the earthquake.

The second workshop, ‘Who’s the Hacker?’ challenged pupils to solve a puzzle using mathematical skill and logic. The teams had to plot co-ordinates of mobile phone masts on a map, use the range of each mast to determine who used their phones where and when, decipher codes to read encrypted messages, eliminate suspects and use evidence to deduce who the hacker was.

The third workshop, ‘Rocket Car’ introduced the Bloodhound Land Speed Record attempt, pupils learnt about rocket cars, and the foundational STEM principles behind them before moving on to the challenge of working in teams to design, build and launch their own rocket cars made out of a foam block, axels and wheels. They even assembled the rocket cartridges and were able to record real-time data such as their car's speed for analysis.

Year 9 engaged brilliantly with all the activities, showing their competitive sides whilst being creative and working outside of their comfort zones. Pupils were enthusiastic in the sessions learning a lot. Thank you to British Army STEM team for coming to join us and to all the staff who were involved in the organisation and delivery of the two-day event.