Ed­u­ca­tion News

Cotswold Life - - CONTENTS -

Weld­ing with cho­co­late and ex­per­i­ment­ing with flesh eat­ing micro­organ­isms got chil­dren hooked on Science dur­ing Wy­cliffe Col­lege’s STEM day.

Four hun­dred chil­dren from nine pri­mary schools across Glouces­ter­shire came to­gether at the Stone­house school to study Science, Maths and Tech­nol­ogy.

Sixth Form­ers from Wy­cliffe led many of the ses­sions along­side oth­ers taken by lead­ing Glouces­ter­shire busi­nesses.

An­drew Robin­son, a for­mer Wy­cliffe pupil and now MD of Arc En­ergy Re­sources in East­ing­ton, led the ses­sion on weld­ing with cho­co­late. Chil­dren “welded” Milky bars into sec­tions to see how much weight they could take.

“Days like to­day are so im­por­tant for en­gi­neer­ing dis­ci­plines and for the sciences in gen­eral be­cause you need to be get­ting in con­tact with stu­dents and put­ting them in con­tact with the busi­nesses in or­der to cre­ate jobs for the fu­ture and to have peo­ple to fill those jobs,” said Mr Robin­son, whose spe­cial­ist weld­ing com­pany em­ploys 70 peo­ple in East­ing­ton.

“You have to en­gage with stu­dents at an ear­lier age so that they don’t switch off from Sciences or Maths. You need to hit them in late pri­mary school and say ‘look science is cool and ex­cit­ing.”

Ten-year-old Ella from Hatherop Cas­tle said her favourite part of the day was the in­door fire­work demon­stra­tion and talk by py­rotech­ni­cian Matthew Tosh.

Her class­mate Louis said he most en­joyed cre­at­ing fig­urines and film­ing stop-mo­tion an­i­ma­tion.

Science jour­nal­ist Greg Foot, who has worked with TV shows Blue Peter and the Blue Planet, talked to the pupils about in­volve­ment in deep sea div­ing.

Matt Archer, Head of Sixth Form at Wy­cliffe, said: “We hold the STEM days for three rea­sons. Firstly our Sixth Form­ers are teach­ing lessons. They will learn more about them­selves to­day than prob­a­bly any other two or three weeks of the year, help­ing them to build their con­fi­dence and grow as in­di­vid­u­als.

“With the com­pa­nies who come to help us we’re help­ing to in­spire the en­gi­neers and sci­en­tists of the fu­ture. Fi­nally we love de­liv­er­ing Science and it gives us an op­por­tu­nity to do the stuff we love.”

Schools tak­ing part were Rosary, Hatherop Cas­tle, the Bri­tish School, St John’s on the Hill, Amberley, Blue­coat, Rod­bor­ough, Hopelands and Wy­cliffe Prep.

Com­pa­nies tak­ing part in­cluded: Arc En­ergy Re­sources Prim­i­tive Tech­nol­ogy, Ren­ishaw, Avan­tis, MANTRA and Roll­sroyce.

An­drew Robin­son, a for­mer Wy­cliffe pupil and now MD of Arc En­ergy Re­sources in East­ing­ton, led the ses­sion on weld­ing with cho­co­late

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