Pupils from across the Preparatory School (Year 4-8) took part in a much anticipated STEM Day.
The school was full of scientists in their lab coats for the day, working hard on their exploratory mission to Mars. Since being able to go to another planet is becoming increasingly important, the mission to Mars offered the perfect structure and context for the different STEM aspects required to sustain life on another planet.
In teams, each year went on to work on a different project using credits to purchase necessary material from the school shop to carry their tasks to completion.
Year 4 built paper rockets to launch their explorers to Mars, while Year 5 created landers and rovers. They tested landing on another planet by dropping the landers off the roof of a boarding house and roved with their explorer (an egg). Year 6 were in charge of ablative shielding. They used a blow torch against an egg for three minutes with a very thin shield in between and had to find a way to help the egg resist breaking. Finally, Year 7 tested different systems to purify grey water and make it suitable for human consumption, and Year 8 designed a Martian base.
To get a better understanding of exploring space and support their mission to Mars, pupils also took part in a series of interactive science shows in a planetarium dome set up in the Prep Hall.
After a busy day of planning, building and testing inventions, the pupils did pitch presentations where they had to sell their products and discoveries or obtain funding. Much like in real life, pupils learned that aside from having knowledge and good ideas, marketing is also an important part of science. The theme throughout the day was very much about skills that pupils can take away into the next lessons and later life.
Head of Science in the Preparatory School Tom Harris said: “STEM Day gives pupils a chance to work on projects that challenge adults and know that their ideas are just as valid as others, that there is no expert solution but there are ways to work together to find a solution.
“STEM is a way of making people realise that the things that we take for granted in this country have to be made, built, designed, thought through, even inspired in the first instance to exist; and it’s that opportunity for pupils to have their own moment of inspiration that makes a day like this worthwhile. It also allows us to celebrate the successes of the pupils and give them the chance to show what they did to help their explorer survive.”
Flick through the gallery below to see the fantastic work our pupils delivered on STEM Day.