Jul 042018
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Putting STEM to the Test

The Year 9 STEM Challenge Day took place on Tuesday 12 June in the Sports Hall at Isa Town. This was the first STEM-based Challenge Day at the School and the day was a fantastic success. The students were arranged into groups and were tasked with designing and manufacturing a model roller coaster, which would allow a marble to run from the beginning of it to the end. There were several criteria the students had to meet, one of which was to try and make the marble run last as long as possible. The students had to use their knowledge of key topics which they have covered in Maths and Science lessons this year, in order see if their ideas would work. The students were busy preparing for the challenge well before the day itself, as they had spent two Enrichment sessions working on their ideas, discussing upcycled materials to bring in to help assist the manufacture of their roller coaster as well as getting to grips with challenging technical content such as: trigonometry; gravitational potential energy and maximum kinetic energy to name but a few. The students really excelled and worked extremely well in their teams. They produced roller coasters which were aesthetically pleasing and functioned in an efficient manner. Moreover, all of the groups were awarded bonus marks on the day for their inclusion features which were not on the main marking criteria such as loops, promotional videos and the use of computer aided design to enhance the communication of their thoughts and ideas. Overall, a truly wonderful day and one which I am sure will live long in the memory of the students and teachers.