Bridging the STEM Gap

Bridging the STEM Gap

Primary schools in South West Hertfordshire last week discovered how, by applying Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, they were able to solve a variety of problems during a "Routes into STEM Challenge Day" at Watford School for Boys.

The day was run as part of the "Routes into STEM" project, commissioned by the South West Herts Strategic Area Partnership Group and managed by LJ Create. The project objectives are to create wider participation and achievement in STEM-based subjects and increase awareness of the opportunities in these areas.

Following on from two successful days run for secondary school pupils, this event offered year 5 and 6 pupils from local primaries the opportunity to participate in a range of activities themed around Transportation and Construction.

Using large-scale plastic construction kits, which were purchased by the Local Authority, the students worked in small teams, working on challenges such as:

  • Design and Build the tallest tower
  • Design and Build a bridge to span a 1.5m gap and take a 4kg load
  • Design and build the fastest electric powered vehicle

The students were required to complete questions sheets after each activity to demonstrate the understanding and knowledge they had gained from the tasks. All the students did exceptionally well and thoroughly enjoyed the activities.

The teams were awarded marks for each activity based on teamwork, design, meeting the objectives of the challenge and completion of the question sheets. Each team were given a certificate with the winning teams being awarded prizes.

The construction kits will now be distributed amongst the local secondary schools to allow them to continue using the resources both with their pupils and their feeder schools to help teach real-world Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths in the classroom and continue to promote STEM-based subjects.