The school that I proudly work at as a Computer Science teacher, UTC Plymouth, flung open its doors to around 250 primary school children from local schools last week and revealed to them a variety of STEM related activities.
Local primary schools Beechwood, Oakwood, Weston Mill and Woodford Primary Schools, Year 5 students from Plympton St Maurice and students from the Plymouth School of Creative Arts all converged onto the UTC site throughout the day to take advantage of the fantastic inspiring view and take part in several STEM activities designed to inspire and excite; and it certainly did that!
Polly Lovell, Principal at UTC Plymouth enthused, “It was an amazing event with lots of positive feedback from the primary schools that visited. ‘We want to stay’ was one comment from a primary student. All students were incredibly polite and RS Component staff were highly complementary about our college”.
The team in the Science department spent the afternoon making sparklers, demonstrating how the ‘behind the scenes wizards’ in the Harry Potter movies make green fire, and also explained how these colours are used in fireworks. They also heard a jelly baby scream and had fun with the flaming bubbles of death!
The RS Components Titan II truck arrived the day before and expertly reversed its way in from the main road. Once set up, it lived up to its name and threw open its doors to allow everyone to see the amazing tech that was on board. Everything from robotics, virtual reality, 3D printing and beyond was available to wow its occupants. Several members of staff were also on hand to answer any questions that the children had, and to introduce them all to the world of STEM.
UTC Plymouth’s own Engineering Department spent a great deal of time crafting ramps, bridges and tunnels, all designed for our in-house rock crawler crew. The challenge then, was to build passes and bridges out of newspaper, tape and anything else to safely allow the RC vehicles to cross the bridge. The staff had also built a multi-terrain course that is really designed to test the agility of both driver and car; the track and the activities here all gave a huge insight into how engineering is undertaken, right down to the smallest level.
Lego was the theme of the day here, with the children being tested to the maximum of their ability to build the highest tower! “Start big and end thin” was the advice, and those who took it on board, made a very high tower indeed, in fact, the highest tower was in excess of five feet tall! All of a sudden, it became a battle of the sexes as girls and boys battled against each other to build the highest tower. In the final match (pictured below), the girls were right on the cusp of winning when their tower collapsed! The boys then took the lead and the girls looked terribly disheartened! It was then, that the boys’ tower collapsed and the girls took the edge – this took over the entire workshop where every child and grownup alike was screaming for a winner! Eventually the boys took it, but only just – it was almost a fluke!
It was a fantastic day and it was wonderful seeing so many children that were inspired by the world of STEM. A huge thank you to all my colleagues at UTC Plymouth. Here's to the next one!