Science Technology Engineering Mathematics

Welcome to the STEM web page. At West Chiltington School, we would like all our children to nurture a keen interest across these subjects.

However, we are aware that recent statistics show that in the UK: women make up only 8% of engineers; only 10% of managers in STEM careers are women; and only 10% of STEM businesses are owned by women. If we bring this analysis back to education: 49% of state schools send no girls to study A-level physics, and of those students who are taking an A-level in the subject, only a fifth are girls - despite getting similar grades at GCSE as boys.

We have set up this web page to highlight the work that the school and parents are doing to bring STEM opportunities into the classroom and at home for all children in order to encourage their interest.

If you have any STEM related contribution to make, please contact

This week's STEM assembly: Freezing experiments


Earlier this week Amelie in Yellow was feeling scientific and started to investigate what happened to different liquids in her freezer. This got other children in the class to ask their own questions and start their own experiments. Here's what they had to say:


I wanted to see what would happen if I add-ed stuff to water. I started off with a tic tac and it dissolved. Then I thought what if I put some oil in the water so I did. I mixed the oil then I put some food colouring in and froze it.

When Amelie froze it, the water turned to ice. The oil was thicker but not frozen.


When I was at my house I wanted to see what happened when you put water, glitter, coconut oil ,orange and pineapple squash, food colouring ,berry punch then freeze it over night. I did two more. It was all the same except food colouring and the oil. The type of oil I used was ground nut oil and vegetable oil. Vegetable oil didn't freeze. Ground nut oil was a bit frozen. Coconut oil did freeze. See if your child or children can solve this question until next Friday. Why did the vegetable oil not freeze? And why did the coconut oil freeze? And the ground nut oil kind of freeze?


In my since experiment I put strawberry jelly, orange jelly, sprinkles, food colouring, grape. I thought the food colouring would sink but it rose upwards and froze. It was all colours! The grape froze in place. Next time I`ll put paper in paint and freeze it.


I thought sun cream wouldn't freeze because it's greasy like oil. Amelie showed us that oil didn't freeze. I put shampoo in water and froze the shampoo. That was like a liquid it stayed in shape and completely froze. I put washing up liquid in it. It froze and when I rubbed my fingers on it the liquid was moving. I think maybe it's my heat. I really really really want to see what happens if I mashed up some food and made it a liquid and put it in the freezer.

Kitchen Science

Are there any liquids you put in a freezer which will stay as a liquid?

Do some freeze quicker than others?

Are there similarities in the liquids that take longer to freeze?

We don't have much freezer space at school but please send in photos to your teacher or write down / record what you observe happening. Next science assembly we will look to see if there are any patterns in what we've noticed.

Yanny or Laurel?

Sophie in Turquoise class found this piece of viral science online. Listen to the audio clip on this page - which word do you hear? Read the explanation of the science behind it. Did you pick out the higher or lower pitch sounds?

Web links:

Simulation - Science simulation of molecules being heated and cooled

Freezing bubbles video.

David Bailey (

STEM news

Free Apple Coding workshops for 8-11 year olds over the summer!

Children aged 8 to 12 can expand their digital creativity through hands-on projects at Apple Camp. Campers choose one of three tracks, then spend 90 minutes a day for three days at a local Apple Store immersed in their chosen subject.


  • Coding with Sphero Robots

    Kids aged 8 to 12 will learn how to solve problems logically through the fundamentals of code.
  • Beat Making and Songwriting with GarageBand

    Kids aged 8 to 12 will discover how to create beats and build their own songs using GarageBand on iPad.
  • Telling Stories with Clips

    In this three-day session, kids aged 8 to 12 will explore how to tell stories with video using the Clips app.

From CBeebies this week: 6 ways to help children think like engineers

A wonderful article here from the CBeebies website with some great ideas for how to get younger children engaged in STEM activities.

STEM Boxes.......are here!

STEM boxes are self-contained fun experiments in a box that your children can take home with them from school. They contain the instructions and all the equipment that you and your child will need to try the experiment. They also contain feedback forms which we will read when you return the box to help us develop the boxes further.

If you haven't yet taken a box, or you would like to take a new one, remind your child to take one or feel free to pop in before or after school and sign one out from the cupboard in the craft room. If you're unsure where to look, just ask.


Yellow class are currently learning about space and two interesting questions have come from the class:

Why does the moon change shape?

I found a good children's video on YouTube to explain it here.

As well as learning about the moon, the question also raises good topics such as light travelling in straight lines, and how it reflects off of some things, and can lead to further experiments with torches and mirrors.

Why are planets round?

A very interesting question introducing the concept of gravity. See here for a great children's space website explaining the answer.

Where are we in the whole universe?

There is a great answer in this amazing video sent in by one of the Yellow Class parents: video.

Please send your children's questions (and any answers you have found if you have them!) to


Please send us your pictures of your children enjoying STEM activities.

Charlie & Rupert Head-Parsons (Purple & Green), trying out the 'Fun with density' STEM box at home. They loved working out whether each ingredient would sink or float.

Poppy Hearnshaw (Green Class) enjoying the Make Your Own Volcano experiment: "Poppy had great fun making the volcano. After completing the experiment we went on to have lots of fun with our own ingredients."

Finley Harvey (Green Class) making and experimenting with slime:

Yellow Class painting paper mâché planets:

Fun facts!

Tim Peake's five fun facts about space flight here.

Cool maths trick for remembering 9 times tables:

Here is a mind-blowing maths trick It goes like this for remembering your 9 times tables.

Example: 9 x 3

Put both hands up with 10 fingers/thumbs. Put your third finger from the left down on your left hand. Then count the number of fingers on the left side of that finger (here you get 2) and on the right side of the finger (you get 7). Put those numbers together (27) and there's your answer. 9 x 3 = 27.

It works all the way up to 10 x9. So cool.

Up and Coming Events

Next STEM committee meetings - all welcome: Friday 13th July13:30pm at school.

Useful Articles

The Engineering Gap - November 2016 [BBC Website]

To get more women in STEM little girls need better role models - February 2017 [The Conversation]

Getting in early to avoid stereotyping careers - April 2015 [The Conversation]

Waterloo Bridge's WW2 women recognised for the first time - June 2015 [BBC News} and The Ladies Bridge - [WES website]

Olympic gymnast Beth Twaddle urges youngsters to study maths and science to preventskills shortage - October 2015 [The Mirror]

A teen just trying to figure it out - Tavi Gevison - March 2012 [TED talk]

Science is for everyone kids included - Beau Lotto & Amy O'Toole - June 2012 [TED talk]

Places to visit

Royal Institute of Science - London

South Downs Planetarium and Science Centre - Chichester

The Observatory Science Centre - Hailsham, East Sussex

The Science Museum - London

The Big Science Fair - Birmingham NEC

Kidzania - London

Winchester Science Centre - Winchester

If you visit any of these places or spot a great event coming up, please let us know and we will post it to the web page!