08th February 2011
The final project that our STEM club did was called Outreach. It was called this because we were taking STEM out into the local community.
First of all, we decided which area of outreach we wanted to work in. The choices we were given were STEM IT, primary school visits, busking, data and activity day workshop. We set off to work and each group was given their own mentor. We began planning and drafting out what to do next.
The STEM IT group began by practising basic web design skills such as flash animation and designing pages. As we want a quality finish we have to continue this project and get all our components online soon. We hope that this will help future STEM clubs in our school.
The primary school group decided to take the skills we learnt in our previous ‘forensics’ module as we thought it would be very exciting for children to get to do the messy experiments. We went to many schools in our local area including Firfield Primary school and Cloudside school. We got loads of really positive feedback from all the schools and most of the children said they would like to be in STEM club when they got up to our school.
The busking group went into the local area to show off STEM to the general public. They went into Tesco’s and had a stall to show off the magic tricks we learnt in our first project. All the STEM members did really well at speaking to the general public and convincing them to visit the stall.
The data group had one of the toughest jobs to do. They put together a series of questionnaires and surveys which they distributed between STEM members, their families and other school students. Next, they put these into graphs and put these into a very interesting slideshow which will greatly help future STEM clubs.
The activity day workshop group had to make activities for our schools science day during activities week. They based it on our ‘forensics’ Project and had a murder mystery for the students to solve.
by Elsie Powers, Alanna Duff and Ruby Tebbs :)
07th February 2011
For our third project we aimed to discover the STEM behind sound, instruments and bands. To start off the project we all researched into harmonics, sound waves and the doppler effect. We were helped in all this by one of our physics teachers.
Our next session involved making instruments out of…
VEGETABLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We made a variety of instruments including a butternut squash drum, carrot flute, pepper shaker and a cauliflower trumpet. This involved drilling, carving and sticking mouthpieces into things. Overall, most of the instruments were successful but as you can probably guess, some of them looked more like we’d thrown it off a three storey building, dragged it through a hedge and played rugby with it. After this, we had to perform with our vegetables in front of all of our STEM club members and basically embarrassed ourselves quite a bit.
We were privileged enough to have two members of STOMP come to our school and run a workshop with us. We got to do a variety of things that STOMP do in their show. Plus we got to miss lessons :D
Then we started to collect together scrap that we would use to make stomp inspired instruments to use in our school’s musical. We used a variety of materials including Glass bottles, elastic bands, cardboard boxes and anything else we could get our hands on.
To end this project we went on a 2 day residential trip to London. We visited a variety of museums and attractions and concluded the trip with a performance by STOMP where we got to see the techniques we had learnt put into practise by the proffesionals.
By Alanna Duff, Ruby Tebbs and Elsie Powers
07th February 2011
Our first project of Year nine was CSI friesland. We learnt all about forensic science and Crime Scene Analysis. Here’s how we did it.
We started by looking at our own fingerprints and trying to see all the different features. After this we took the entire group up to a science lab in the sixth form and looked at our hair under microscopes and let’s just say some hair definitely had not been washed! Also, we analysed some animal hairs and compared them to the human ones, unfortunately we had to inform one of the school teachers that her cat had fleas. Soon we moved to blood analysis and trying to determine blood types. Obviously we weren’t allowed to use real blood for hygiene purposes so Miss Shapland mixed us a strange concoction of chemicals, vinegar, blood and food colouring. Finally we learnt all about Entomology by trying to identify how long someone had been dead by looking at the bugs on them. Again, we didn’t take a quick a visit to the morgue and we didn’t borrow a real dead body, we just looked at photos and gathered information about the bugs to make our own classroom-friendly versions.
A company the from the university called CEL came in to help us. They ran a workshop in which we had to try and determine who the killer was using all the skills we had learnt in previous sessions. We analysed “urine”, “blood”, “sick” and “bugs”.
Soon we had to start the rehearsal period for our end of project performance. This time was a murder mystery extravaganza, in which the audience got to take part in all of the experiments in the interval. With an amazing script written by one of our drama teachers we set out to perform an amazing new play.
On the night of the performance it all went well and all of our parents did really well at trying to understand the complicated experiments. We had a great time acting out all of the scenes and we found it hilarious no matter how many times we had done the scenes already. All in all a fantastic project :)
By Alanna Duff, Ruby Tebbs and Elsie Powers (again :D)
04th February 2011
The Second project we did was based on the Stem behind Photography and Lighting. Once again we started the project with a research section this time on Fibre optics. From this we produced posters which were then graded using the national curriculum levels.
One of the highlights of this project was the trip to the national media museum in Bradford where we learnt a lot in a very interactive way. Some of our members tried their hand at hosting the news whilst others opted for presenting the weather. We also had a chance to play with the blue screen howevere our bright blue STEM shirts seemed to blend in rather too well leaving us as bodyless floating heads! In between all this we even managed to squeeze in a trip to the I-Max cinema where we watched a movie about life on a space station. It felt so real some of us even flinched when a orange was thrown towards us on screen.
Soon, we tried our hand at GCSE level electronics and started building kits including solar powered cars, an LDR circuit, burgular alarms and an electronic bug which followed light sources. We know, it was pretty confusing at first but with the help of our electronics teacher, we grasped the idea very quickly.
Also, we were given the opportunity to use the Mac computers at our school and we all had a go at photo edtiting. We all had our photographs taken and we began manipulating and distorting them. The end products of this edtiting tended to be rather weird and in some cases plain scary!
Finally, we took part in a presentation where we demonstrated our electronic kits to our friends and family and we also showed our presentations in groups on our given topics. Afterwards, we ran some small stalls showing any models we had produced and explaining to the audience how we had created our kits. Also, to our embarrassment, the edited photos had been made A4 sized and stuck on a notice board. Not good.
By Ruby Tebbs, Alanna Duff and Elsie Powers
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