Berwick Academy STEM mornings

STEM Ambassador's stand outside school.

RAF STEM Ambassadors from RAF Boulmer have been busy mentoring and skills building with Year 9 students from Berwick Academy.

The team led a discussion and skills workshop about STEM jobs.  To build on the discussion and put the skills to practice, students were challenged to build a 1.5-metre-high mast (to replicate an Antenna) that could hold a 0.5 kg weight.

Students make models on classroom tables.

Split into two teams they were each provided with a finite range of resources to bid for.  Communication and negotiation skills were soon demonstrated as the teams haggled for the limited resources.  Best negotiation of the day went to the student who offered his lunch for a bundle of string – putting his team before his own needs in order to meet the task! (just to reassure readers - the student did get to retain his lunch!!).  

Students stand by model made from toilet rolls.

Once completed, the RAF STEM Ambassador's measured the height and build quality for each mast.  The event was closed with a review of the day, highlighting the range of employability skills the young people had successfully demonstrated during the task.

The following the month, the team returned to the Academy to discuss GCSE options and the impact those choices can have on pathways to STEM careers.  This was followed by a practical Coding STEM activity using Spheros.  

Students push sphero balls along course laid out on the ground.

Spheros are small robot spheres that are programmable using block code.  The Students met a range of programming challenges, each getting progressively harder. The SAs discussed with the students how coding affects our everyday life and explored its application in modern equipment and activities.  To end the session on a high the students raced their Spheros round a Mario Kart style track they created on the School’s Astroturf.

Throughout both sessions the RAF STEM Ambassadors thoroughly enjoyed engaging with the young people, watching their confidence grow.  The team looks forward to working with the students in the future as they progress through the school.