Mixing concrete, examining fossils and solving puzzles; pupils at Firbeck Academy get hands-on for lessons in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).
The University of Nottingham staged a day-long take-over at the school in Firbeck Road to inspire learning and promote the subjects that impact our daily lives.
Across the year groups children took part in activities before a final assembly at the end of the day. Engineering was taught by getting pupils to mix different amounts of ingredients to form ‘concrete’ before carrying out a number of strength tests to decide on the best recipe.
Dr Nick Thom, Assistant Professor in Engineering, said: “I think anything we can do to put academic subjects like maths and science into real context is a good idea, helping the children to see meaning in what they learn. Concrete is a great example because they can see it all around them. And of course we need a new generation of engineers of all different types to meet the challenges that the modern world continues to throw up.”
For science fossils, including a piece of ancient excrement, helped to give pupils a lesson in key events in the Earth’s timeline.
Meanwhile maths was covered with magnetic pendulums, Newton’s cradles, gyroscopes and the Towers of Hanoi puzzle.
The day was part of a series of events run across the year by the University’s Widening Participation team.
This includes family learning, visits to the University of Nottingham campuses, assemblies and summer schools.
Wendy Riley, Deputy Head teacher at Firbeck Academy, said: “We are very lucky to work closely with the University to raise aspirations and show our children what a wide variety of amazing careers they could have in the future. This special WOW day introduced the children to STEM in a hands on, interactive way and I'm sure inspired them to go on to study science, technology, engineering or maths!”
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