Students constructed radar towers, built aircraft models and programmed a robot during a day of hands-on learning activities with the Royal Air Force.

The whole of Year 9 was given the opportunity to take part in the workshop organised as part of EDT’s First Edition programme.

First Edition provides Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) curriculum enrichment taster experiences for young people aged nine to 16.

These hands-on activity days are designed to excite and enlighten young people on how STEM is fun, interesting and results in a rewarding career.

During the day students worked in teams to construct a ‘radar tower’ using only paper and masking tape, which is capable of supporting weights at two heights. They investigated the strength of different shapes in structures and the most efficient use of materials.

Next, students built and tested their own aircraft models, which had to achieve a specified distance along a runway using only elastic power. They were asked to investigate the impact of mass, friction and aerodynamics on the movement of their model.

The final task saw students programming a small robot in order to successfully navigate a ‘disaster zone’ course and reach stranded survivors. Accuracy, teamwork and planning were all essential factors in this challenge.

Teams earned points for successfully completing the challenges and there was a prize-giving ceremony at the end of the day.

Head teacher Kevin Gritton said this was a fantastic opportunity to bring STEM to life for students in Year 9.

He said: “This was a great hands-on learning experience which hopefully left our students feeling inspired and enthused about STEM subjects. There are a whole range of possible careers involving STEM and a workshop like this really opens students’ eyes to what is out there.”

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