Flight Sergeant A Austen
On the 30th June 21, the Madani School in Leicester invited the RAF Youth and STEM Team to assist in the School’s annual STEM Day event. Ismail Abdullatif, the School STEM Lead managed and co-ordinated the program brilliantly despite COVID-19 isolations impinging on a whole year group’s participation the day before the event.
A total of 546 students took part; 13 girls and 13 boys teams with each comprising of students across years 7 to 10. The STEM Mission was to build a 1 meter long self-supporting bridge between 2 tables, and then make a self-propelling car that could successfully transit across the bridge. The teams were given a bag of renewable materials to build both the bridge and the car, before they presented their projects (Dragons Den style) to the judges.
Flight Lieutenant Sarah Duffy and Flight Sergeant George Austen were honoured to be invited to Madani School to assist the students with the challenge and judge the final designs. This was a great opportunity for the students to engage with serving personnel and relate the STEM learning taking place to real-life careers.
Throughout the day it was a privilege to watch the student’s ideas and confidence grow. Each team was unique in their solutions and manufacturing processes, getting to grips with the need to share ideas, re-evaluate designs when they did not work and share tasks to maximise productivity within the given timeframe.
Choosing the winning teams was difficult, so the judges stuck rigidly to a marking scheme that assessed not just the final bridge and car but also teamwork, leadership, communication and time management. All students received STEM certificates with the winning teams awarded RAF Medals.
A talented group of students; the final designs coupled with excellent presentation skills were inspiring. Whatever career path awaits the Madani students, we wish them all the very best of success and hope that we can come back and be involved next year.