Year 8 Stem Week

The Year 8s have recently taken part in our first STEM week (11th – 15th March). The week, organised by Mrs Sharpe and Mrs Caunt (with the support of staff across the Academy) aligns with both the Year 8 options process and National Science Week. Alongside subject-specific learning, STEM week (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) provided opportunities for our Year 8 students to develop STEM skills such as critical thinking, problem solving and team work. The students thoroughly enjoyed the range of activities over the week, enriching their curriculum experiences in school and widening their understanding of science and technology in the real world. They also had the opportunity to speak to STEM professionals in many fields which has inspired them with their future career plans. Following the success of the week, we hope it will become an annual event for our Year 8 students at SNA.

Stem Careers Spotlight –Tuesday 12th March

On Tuesday, we were delighted to welcome over 20 representatives from STEM industries into school to run a STEM careers spotlight in our newly-developed sports hall. They brought hands-on activities for our students to try and also the opportunity to ask questions about careers in STEM related jobs. The atmosphere was exciting and the students enjoyed the opportunity to meet many new people from careers they had not even heard of. Examples of some of the visitors included:        DANCOP  explaining careers in forensics, medical students from Nottingham University explaining new research into cancer gene therapy, engineering with the Royal Air Force, solving        mathematical problems with an accountant and using Lego Mindstorm with an engineer. The event ran over period 3 and then into lunch which allowed all students from all year groups across the school the opportunity to visit and ask questions.

Trip to the Big Bang Fair – Wednesday 13th March

On Wednesday, over 110 Year 8 students went to the NEC in Birmingham to attend the Big Bang Fair. This is the second year that SNA has attended the event and the shows and stands were bigger and better than ever. The students had a brilliant time and were a credit to the school. They had the chance to experience live science shows and also speak to people representing over 500 STEM and science organisations.

STEM Rotation Day – Thursday 14th March

On Thursday, the students were back in school off-timetable taking part in a STEM day. They took part in a five part rotation solving mathematical problems, understanding how computers are built, building model chairs in the style of the Campano brothers and conducting science experiments. The experience was designed to develop students’ STEM skills of problem- solving, team-work and critical thinking. It also gave students an opportunity to think about their options before finalising their GCSE choices ready for a 3 year KS4. The students really enjoyed being able to take part in some subjects that they have not  yet had the opportunity to undertake, such as Computer Science  and Food Technology.

Energy Quest – Friday 15th March.

On Friday, we welcomed Learn by Design into school to run hands-on engineering  workshops with all Year 8 students. The students learned about renewable energy, physics and technology. They undertook an electric car challenge, racing their cars down the hall. The event is sponsored by Shell and gave the students a chance to find out about careers in engineering.

Other STEM events:

RAF Operation X – the RAF came into school on the 11thMarch to run a workshop with a group of Year 9  students as part of their Operation X programme. The students   really enjoyed the opportunity to undertake a simulated RAF problem solving activity.

On Thursday 7th March, Mrs Caunt and Dr Timson took a group of 15 Year 8 and 9 girls to Leicester University for a day of workshops and activities. The girls enjoyed Chemistry experiments, Physics Taster Sessions, employability advice, chatted with first year medical students, as well as an opportunity to network with the PhD Biomedical students. Feedback from the group was very positive – many confirmed that the day had enhanced their career ideas and helped to showcase the many roles in STEM that are available to women. The groups were also pleased to experience university life and chat with student ambassadors.