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.
Trip to Bletchley Park 2019
On the 3rd December 2019 we took a group of students to Bletchley Park in Milton Keynes. Bletchley Park, once the top-secret home of the WWII Codebreakers is now a vibrant heritage attraction whereby the children got the chance to see where the Wrens would have worked in the huts and had a go on a real Enigma machine.
The children explored code breaking, internet safety and problem solving challenges. We all had a fantastic day!
Knex Workshop - 15th October 2019
A selection of Key Stage 2 pupils took part in a Knex workshop hosted by STEM works. They faced the challenge of designing and building a new automotive vehicle with the following design criteria:
Faraday Challenge 2019
Parkside took part in the Faraday Challenge in September, held at St. John's Middle School. There were five different middle schools from the Bromsgrove area taking part. It was run by the IET, which is one of the world’s leading professional societies for the engineering and technology community. The Faraday Challenge gave students the opportunity to research, design and create a product for a genuinely tough engineering problem. The students used their creativity and technological knowledge to successfully solve this engineering problem. The students had a very rewarding learning experience and were a credit to the school.
Marine Engineering Pathway Tour
On Thursday 19th and Friday 20th September, Parkside welcomed the Marine Society and Sea Cadets into school to work with our Year 8 pupils, with their Marine Engineering Pathway Tour. Our pupils participated in a two-hour hands-on workshop which looked at the fundamentals of engineering through a real-life marine engineering scenario. Pupils had to design and build a ship which was stable in water to carry as much cargo as possible. They tested their ships to then discover which teams had succeeded in carrying the most cargo whilst staying afloat. The workshop coordinator was amazed by the high scores that our Year 8 pupils achieved through the days, commenting that Parkside pupils broke several records for the most cargo to be carried. The pupils thoroughly enjoyed the experience and were enthused about engineering as a result.
Trip to Worcestershire Parkway
On Monday 8th July, a selection of 18 pupils from across the school had the pleasure of visiting the new Worcestershire Parkway Train Station. As the station is still within the construction stages we initially met with the project manager from Worcestershire County Council. He shared with the pupils the design stages and job roles that have allowed the project to get to this stage. We then boarded the coach to the train station and met the lead builder from the construction team who talked in more detail about what facilities are in the station and what tasks had been completed. The pupils thoroughly enjoyed the trip and found the information extremely useful - particularly those who are hoping to go into the engineering or construction industry as a career.
STEM Hub Staff
On Friday 28th June, many members of the STEM Hub came to our school to deliver three hands on workshops to Key Stage 2 pupils. The three workshops were linked to Space and included: ‘Mission Starlight’, ‘Our home in Space’ and ‘Craters on the Moon’. Additionally, pupils had the opportunity to talk with a STEM ambassador from Worcester University about careers and the pathways available to them in the future. Finally, Worcester Bosch were also at the event to share with pupils the Engineering opportunities available when they leave school. The pupils thoroughly enjoyed the day and many suggested they would like to be considered for future Engineering opportunities that might be organized. All of our guests on the day were extremely complementary of the school, staff and especially the pupils. They loved how interactive, polite and enthusiastic they were throughout the day.
Autistic Base - STEM Group collaborative working
On 9th April a group of STEM experts were invited to the Den, to support the pupils with creating a robotic hand.
A month ago, 20 pupils were selected to take part in a STEM workshop linked to space technologies. The pupils were to create a robotic hand using card, art straws and string. Following this workshop, 10 experts were identified and trained to deliver the workshop to the Den pupils and support them in creating their own robotic arm.
The workshop was a tremendous success with all pupils benefiting from the communication and team work skills needed to be successful.
Parkside Pupils awarded First Place at STEM Finals
The girls were up against more than 30 other schools from across Worcestershire and their teamwork shone as they recreated their Knex model. The judges commented on their amazing communication skills and their detailed, thoughtful planning.
Big Bang Fair
On Thursday 14th March all of Year 8 had the opportunity to go and see the Big Bang Fair at the NEC.
The Big Bang Fair is the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths for young people in the UK.
The pupils all had the chance to hear from inspiring engineers and scientists from some of the UK's biggest companies and found out about the opportunities available in science and engineering. They found out the careers in STEM range from putting on fashion shows to creating the next biggest roller-coaster or even creating new technology that can save lives!
At the fair was a huge Science show which explained the Chemistry and Biology of explosions. All the pupils were able to speak to lots of real scientists and engineers. They had the chance to ask them questions when they met them live on stage.
Network Rail Visit
On Friday the 8th March we had a special visitor come to Parkside to celebrate International Women’s day and females in engineering. Lorraine came to talk to our young children about Network Rail and all of the different career paths engineering can take you down. The children learnt about apprenticeship schemes and also how university can be another pathway. They also learnt about how the lights and signalling work on the railway and how plans for changes are submitted nearly 3 years in advance.
Knex Workshop - 11th December 2018
1. Have at least two platforms.
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!
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!
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.
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.