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 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) plays an integral role to pupils' education at Parkside; it is integrated throughout the curriculum at all years, as well as being a core focus for many inspiration and engagement events across the school. Parkside is strongly committed to inspiring pupils with regards to the world around them and the future role that they will play in exciting ventures and possibilities that might not be invented yet. Therefore, at the core of our STEM delivery is the desire to create fascination, engagement and aspiration within the STEM sector, giving our pupils the opportunities to be inspired to play an active and creative role, and to see the links between wider aspirations and their studies in school.

As a result of our commitment to STEM, we are happy to have created business links, provide inspiration days and to focus our pupils on their roles in society when they leave Parkside.

Knex Workshop - 11th December 2018

A selection of Key Stage 2 pupils took part in a Knex workshop today.  They faced the challenge of designing and building a new railway station out of Knex.  The station had to meet the following specification: 
   1. Have at least two platforms.
   2. Be accessible for all.
   3. Include a ticket office, coffee shop and toilets.
   4. Be no more that 40cm x 30cm.
The children demonstrated fantastic team work, resilience and determination to succeed. 
A winning pair will go forwards in the Engineering final next year. 

Trip to Bletchley Park - 6th December 2018

On 6th December pupils visited Bletchley Park the home of the codebreakers. Bletchley Park played a huge part in shortening WW2! Talented mathematicians, linguists and logical minded people all contributed to the effort. Here is what the pupils thought of their day out.

The best part of the day was when we saw the old Enigma machines and how they cleverly sent encrypted messages from the Germans. I also loved the old messenger bike because it was such an amazing and secretive way to send messages!
William D

A fantastic experience! My favourite part of the day was the workshop – we worked in teams to translate Morse code into English and learned about the importance of the Enigma machine during World War 2. I also enjoyed the tour as we learned about the roles of those who worked at Bletchley Park and how they had to keep their progress secret from friends and family. An amazing trip!
Maisy D

A great experience! I never knew people working at Bletchley had to stay so secretive and using a real Enigma machine was very fun. I also enjoyed the code breaking tasks from real war events.
Eden A


KS3 Space Week - 2nd to 6th July 2018

Last week, pupils engaged in a Space themed week linked to Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).

Key Stage 2 pupils launched miniature rockets from their handmade launch pads, investigated cloud formations, identified planets that have volcanoes and formed erupting models, created mixed media picture of the planets in our solar system and many more exciting activities.

During the week, Key Stage Three pupils took part in a wide range of activities centralised around the notion of 'Is anybody out there?' and the developments in Space exploration and travel. From designing a marketing campaign for a Virgin Galactic tour in English, and creating a Rocket and handling data in Maths, to exploring organisms and designing an 'Astro-nappy' in Science, the students were able to investigate and explore in an engaging way. In addition, they all worked extremely hard to train like an astronaut, with Year 8 challenging Tim Peake to complete a collective marathon at the end of the day. Much enjoyment was had by all.

"I liked making the solar system using soft pastels", Year 5 pupil

"I enjoyed making the volcano from Mars and watching it erupt", Rowan (5SP)

"My favourite bit was when we made mini rockets and got to shoot them into the sky" Jessica (5HP)


Year 5 Inspiration Day

On Tuesday 15th May, all Year 5 pupils took part in an inspiration day to launch their new Learning Journey topic titled ‘Come Over to Mayan Place’.

An outside Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) company came in to deliver a hands-on workshop which required extreme teamwork and listening skills to create a giant Mayan temple.

Children started by making a small triangle with only three sticks and three elastic bands. They then got into groups of 4, joining all of their triangles together. Following this, they made bi-pods and tri-pods, in varying sizes.  In addition, pupils made a square from 4 long sticks, using triangulation to strengthen the corners. Finally, the groups fastened their structures together, until they had made a huge Mayan Temple (measuring 6m squared and standing 4m high) whicheven included steps to the top. 

The pupils are truly inspired, as they begin their Mayan Learning Journey.


Faraday Challenge 2018

On Tuesday 30th January we hosted a Faraday Challenge Day at Parkside. It was run by the IET  and gave students the opportunity to research, design and make solutions to a genuinely tough engineering problem. This year there are a total of 154 Challenge Days held at schools throughout the UK.The Challenge Day involved six teams of 6 Year 8 pupils, and we invited four other local middle schools to take part. We also welcomed four representatives from Bosch, who are established engineers in different fields, and they were able to discuss engineering with the pupils. 

The students used their problem-solving skills and were creative in their designs. Each team produced a working prototype by the end of the day, and presented it to the judges. Their creativity was exceptional, and their presentations were excellent.

KS3 Trip to Catapult - Birmingham 2017

Just before Christmas, pupils from Parkside had the pleasure of visiting Energy Systems Catapult in Birmingham.

After running  a competition in school, to investigate energy usage within our pupils’ homes, the winners and a selection of Key Stage 3 pupils, were invited to visit the Catapult Innovation Facility. Whilst there, our pupils shared their winning presentations of energy usage with the Engineering team of Catapult.  They also were given the opportunity to participate in a variety of workshops to inspire future inventors and to get them thinking about energy, innovation and invention.

The workshops had the desired effect as all pupils came away feeling inspired and enthusiastic about engineering and energy efficiency.  Many of the pupils particularly enjoyed writing on the wall at Catapult and looking at the different ways we document, record and investigate energy usage within our lives.


Wednesday 8th November 2017 - Tomorrow's Engineers Week - Key Stage 3

On Wednesday 8th November, as part of "Tomorrow's Engineers Week", KS3 had a visit from James Sopwith at ADI Total Engineered Solutions, to Parkside for an assembly to inspire pupils into the career path of engineering. The pupils were told about the different paths that they could take in order to become the next generation of engineers, including an apprenticeship route which they could take as part of their Options at the end of Year 8. Pupils found the assembly inspiring, with many commenting that they are interested in looking at engineering as an apprenticeship at the end of the assembly. We hope to offer more opportunities from ADI in the future for our pupils.

October 2017 - Malvern Festival of Innovation

Several of our Year 8 pupils went to the Malvern Festival of Innovation in October.  This was a day showcasing science, technology and entrepreneurship from around the region.  The pupils were able to take part in two workshops there.  One was run by the Catshill Partnership which enabled them to build and programme a model car.  The other was run by Raspberry Pi, which enabled the pupils to use computer programming.  The pupils also had the chance to talk to various exhibitors from scientific and technical organisations, and have a go at a variety of demonstrations.  They also watched a show on the exploration of space in a show-dome. The pupils had a fantastic day, and enjoyed all the different learning experiences.

Thursday 6th July 2017 - Enterprise challenge with Key Stage 3

As part of their inspiration curriculum, Key Stage Three took part in the One Pound Challenge from 4th-6th July 2017. Classes were set the challenge to take a single £1 investment from Mrs Terrey and use this to create a product for a market that would be held in school for our Key Stage Two pupils.

Pupils had two days to design their product, considering their strategy and the risks involved, create their product and then promote it, using a range of marketing and pitching activities. The event culminated in a market that was held in school. There were a wide range of innovative ideas on offer – from inventive ideas such as home-made stress balls, “Adopt a Pet Rock”, spa experiences and tarot readings , to more traditional stalls such as soak the pupil and guess the sweets.

Pupils thoroughly enjoyed the experience; it provided them with an opportunity to realise their entrepreneurial talents and put their literacy and numeracy skills to practical use. The winning class will receive a reward during the last week of term, with the total profit for the event reaching £289.95. Well done Key Stage Three!


Whole School Design Competition - Spring 2017 

Before half term pupils competed in a whole school competition to design a city, vehicle or product for the future of energy saving. Here are a selection of photos of the fantastic designs created. The winning design was an inspirational energy saving ski resort.

The pupils whose designs were chosen were: 


Mystee Lyden 6SH
Maisy Davies 6SH
Eleanor Taylor 6SH

Runners up

Amelie Martin 6AY
Lotte Seagar 6KW
Jack Purshall and Olly Harper 6JD
Nathan Harber and Daniel Crowther 8ED
Isobel Edwards 8KN 

The winning poster will be framed and put on display in an energy saving company in Birmingham. The runners up and winners will enjoy a VIP trip to the company to see their artwork on display and experience the futuristic company's building and design features.