STEM club (Science, Technology; Engineering and Maths) aims to show students just how fun discovering these subjects can be outside of the classroom, inspiring some to consider careers in STEM areas, as well as setting our students up for achievement in class, as well. There are currently 3 STEM Clubs for Y7, Y8 and Y9.
STEM Club (Science, Technology; Engineering and Maths) aims to show students just how fun discovering these subjects can be outside of the classroom, inspiring some to consider careers in STEM areas, as well as setting our students up for achievement in class, as well. There are currently 3 STEM Clubs for Y7, Y8 and Y9.
Itab El-Ghariani and Sarah-Louise Kelsey paid a visit to the Y7 club to find out why it’s such a success. Also, how it aims to reach even higher in its achievements and experiments and, most importantly, exactly what the students think of it all!
Room S05 on a Monday at 3:30pm is a hive of excitement - there wasn’t an empty seat when the Y7s took their places as Mrs Conheeney, the STEM club leader, accompanied by Miss Gilbertson, Miss Etches and 6th form helpers, introduced wind turbines to them. Only ten minutes later they were busy making their own wind turbines in groups of three, using card, a hairdryer, scissors and glue. Most of them had joined straight away at the start of the year, excited about a place that involved “proper practicals” and which was much “more exciting than primary school”.
“It’s stuff you want to know the answer to,” explained one particularly eager Y7 armed with two pairs of scissors and a glue stick, evidently pleased that they were “always doing practicals.” They praised the teaching staff, saying how they are “always helping” them to really understand their experiments and get them going, and that “they make sure it’s not too easy but not too hard”. They also recognised how it would help in the future too, saying that they “would use maths in a job” and “it will help in my lessons.” “I would encourage others to join” stated one Y7 boy as he put the finishing touches on his turbine. And, of course, it is “just fun”.
Fortunately we had the privilege of a STEM ambassador being at the meeting. These are volunteers who work in a STEM related job who come into school to set real problems and talk to students about their work and the role of STEM subjects in it. We try to invite STEM Ambassadors to each club over the course of the year. This ambassador told us that the students at STEM club are well motivated and are certainly making the most of Tapton’s best-kept secret.
The future plans of the club are for Y7 members to complete their Bronze CREST Award over the coming term; Y8 members will compete in a Go4SET project, earning their Silver CREST Award and Y9 members are currently working with engineers from Siemens on long term; real life industrial projects. All clubs will hopefully present their work at the regional Big Bang Fair to be held at Yorkshire Air Museum in the summer term. We are also hoping to attend the national Big Bang Fair to be held in London in March to support our Y8 club members who will be competing there having won the regional Big Bang Fair in the summer with their Bronze CREST project on wind turbines.