Brighton Hill Community School

with specialist sports status

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with specialist sports status
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Home >> Information >> News >> 2015 STEM Challenge hailed the Best Ever

Published on - 14-07-2015

2015 STEM Challenge hailed the Best Ever

Traditional village fete games were given a 21st Century overhaul courtesy of North Hampshire secondary school students competing in the 2015 STEM Challenge. Incorporating their Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths know-how students havce been challenge to re-engineered classic village fete games such as ‘Splat the Rat’ and ‘Fling the Wellie.’ One team re-modelled a famous app featuring an ‘Irritable Avians’ catapulting ‘birds’ at ‘cats’ and another produced an extremely addictive version of the dance mat..  Brighton Hill Community School hosted the event with students from Aldworth School, Kings School, Testbourne School and The Hurst Community College also taking part.

Commenting on the annual competition which is organised by Winchester Science Centre, Sarah Newman from their STEM team said: “The students had all produced amazingly professional inventions for the day. This, combined with Brighton Hill’s steel band led to a wonderful atmosphere celebrating students’ creativity. Hopefully the students will feel empowered by the experience and have a better understanding of what engineers do in industry.”

Leading up to the event each team had been mentored by local STEM Ambassadors - professionals working in Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths, who help teachers inspire young people.  They were all also provided with an electronics starter kit and a quick training course in how to use this equipment.

On the day competitors demonstrated their creations to the judges and gave a short presentation about the concept and the design process.  They then had a special fete themed lunch courtesy of ‘Catering Academy’, enjoying burgers, candy floss and popcorn.  During the school lunch time, Brighton Hill students were invited to have a try at all the games and find out a bit more about STEM.  The school’s steel pan band played music, whilst those waiting for games were further amused by street entertainers juggling and unicycling.  The winning team was then announced by John Tickle, of brainiac fame, who also spoke to the students about skills required for careers within STEM industries and his own personal experiences working as a software developer for British Gas.

Claire Jones, Science Teacher from Brighton Hill Community School, said: “The Brighton Hill team were keen to show off their design of ‘Space shooters’ which involved catapulting a ball through a target hole.  This was detected by LDRs and triggered the Genietm microprocessor into playing music as a reward.  The team gave a confident presentation of their activity and build process to the judges, who were very impressed with the design and build quality.  School students from Brighton Hill enjoyed being invited to the event (a first at this event) and being able to try out each activity.  We received comments such as’ science is really cool’ and ‘next year I am making an entry’.  A great day was had by all.”

Jon Tickle (of Brainiac and Big Brother fame) competition compere, was joined by Aj Sharman of STEMNET who helped judge the designs.  Despite a closely fought batter, The Kings School in Winchester took home the 2015 trophy with the judges particularly impress with their excellent team work and the complexity and ingenuity of the design which was a dance mat crossed with  ‘Simon says’.

The Stem Challenge is designed to demonstrate to students that the STEM subjects can be creative and fun and to inspire students to consider the learning and career opportunities open to them.

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