Firing up the dragons at STEM day

Firing up the dragons at STEM day

Year 8 boys combined Mathematics and Science with some exciting new materials to come up with creative solutions to everyday problems.

The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) enrichment day involved pupils working in teams, with each allocated a different business role.

After first designing and building a prototype, they then pitched it to a team of ‘dragons’ – expert assessors modelled on those seen on TV’s Dragons’ Den.

The day was run by Simon Kettle, Executive Director of STEMworks, a not-for-profit company dedicated to promoting STEM.

He gave the boys a design brief, encouraging them to think about possible applications for materials such as D3o – a substance discovered at the University of Hertfordshire in 1999 that is soft and flexible when worn, but impact-resistant in a collision. The pupils also considered how the design of mobile apps might be used to help disabled people.

The boys worked in their teams in roles covering graphic design, marketing and product manufacture, and as the managing director.

The winners chosen by the dragons included a prototype for luggage that could be used to charge a phone whilst a passenger waited in an airport and a wristwatch to help those suffering with dementia remember to take their medication.

The day was supported by STEM ambassadors from German multinational Siemens and the London-based engineering consultancy, Waterman Group, who spoke to the boys about careers in engineering.