The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) faculty welcomed a group of Year 11 students from Stoke High School to take part in a number of STEM activities on Monday 2nd March.
Our Year 12 Engineering students set up two practical activities for the visiting students to participate in.
The first was linked to their study of the properties of common engineering materials, particularly metals and the forming process involved in casting. Students heated pewter (a zinc alloy) in excess of 230*c and then poured the molten metal into moulds to make small souvenir trinkets, which once cooled, were finished with a variety of metal-working hand tools.
The second activity used a theodolite in a range-finding task where students had to set-up, calibrate and then use the instrument to measure the distance that a paper aeroplane could be thrown, down the length of the workshop.
Students were introduced to San Gaku Japanese geometrical problems and theorems. Originally these were found on wooden tablets which were placed as offerings at temples during the Edo period (1603–1867) by members of all social classes. These mathematical problems involved the students bringing together their GCSE skills in the use of Pythagoras, angle facts and simplifying equations involving surds to answer puzzles which were then generalised into theorems. This type of mathematics is perfect for students that have all the separate skills required for GCSE but have difficulty when things are out of context or unfamiliar. Developing the skill of making generalisations and making it part of the students’ mental disposition is vital when moving from GCSE to A-Level.
The biology activity involved dissecting sheep’s eye balls. This was an interactive hands-on activity to get the students to consider the structure of the eye and relate it to function. This is a key concept that is required when studying Biology at A level and was greatly enjoyed by all students involved.
Kirsty Cook, Stoke High School teacher said "Thanks for a lovely afternoon, I've had lots of positive feedback from the students for all the sessions."