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Year 8 STEM day

An enthusiastic group of Year 8 students started their semester of STEM adventures with a STEM immersion day. Students worked in teams as ‘Software Engineers’ to solve a problem or to change or improve people’s experience in an area of our everyday lives. They were challenged to use their creativity combined with skills in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) and work together to develop a new product. They needed to use all of their STEM skills, as well as skills in teamwork, perseverance, creativity and innovation.

Students were challenged to develop a product using their BBC micro:bit for the real-world within their chosen theme - Health, Sport, Travel or Home and Leisure - and then to pitch their products to the Coding the Future judges.

Once the brainstorming was complete, the ‘shop’ opened. The shop was where the ‘Accountants’ procured supplies whilst keeping track of their team’s limited budget. Thankfully they had already been briefed by Mr Tatzenko, Mathematics teacher, on expenditure and budget. ‘Project Managers’ had been briefed by Mr Josiah Monin, our industry expert in Project Management and Construction, and Mr Andy Nobbs, Covenant’s own Marketing Manager, gave the ‘Marketing Managers’ the low down on creating a successful pitch for their prototype. Mr Januarius from Nexgen Coding Camps, Joshua Stanwell (Year 12) and Michael Chapman (Year 12) were on hand to help with circuit building advice and solving coding issues regarding the micro:bit.  Mrs Wright (Science and STEM teacher) and Mrs Shaw (Technology and IST teacher) provided STEM consultancy services at a reasonable (and sometimes negotiable) price. 

Students showed determination, ingenuity and resilience as they built and improved their prototypes. Teamwork was crucial and many teams noted how their skills at working together improved as the day progressed

As the ‘shop’ closed, accounts were finalised and submitted, students practised their marketing pitch, and the judges started assessing submissions. While the pre-marking was happening, Junior School teacher Mr Joshua HiI (former Engineer turned teacher) gave a presentation on Engineering and how it solves real problems in everyday life. 

During the presentations, the prototypes ranged from sensors to open doors for people to devices that warn you when your phone is getting too hot while charging.  Two finalists were picked out of eight great innovations. The unanimous winner created a device to support people with anxiety by providing four games and a muscle tensioning device.

Well done Year 8, and thank you to all our teachers and volunteers who made this day possible.