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 STEM@westchiltschool.com
STEM in the news
Super Blue Blood Moon appearing 31st January 2018
A beautiful and rare Super Blue Blood Moon will be appearing in our skies on 31st January. It will be the first one in 150 years.There will be a rare convergence of celestial events on 31 January—a blue moon, a supermoon, and a total lunar eclipse, all in one. The phenomenon, which hasn't happened since 1866, graces the sky when the second full moon of the month (known as a blue moon) is in its closest position to Earth, making it appear even larger than usual—a supermoon.
The event will be visible in western North America, Asia, Australia, and elsewhere across the Eastern Hemisphere. Find out more about what it is here on the BBC website.
Why are there so few female engineers?
BBC News article from 13 January 2018 can be seen here.
STEM research get rock star treatment at Breakthrough prize award ceremony
Great article regarding the glitzy Breakthrough Award ceremony for STEM researchers aimed at raising their profile and to make rock stars of scientists. The article is here [The Guardian, 4 December 2017].
STEM Boxes.......coming soon!
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 will also contain feedback forms which we will read when you return the box to help us develop the boxes further.
The STEM boxes are being prepared now, and will be available to take home from January 29th, the STEM launch event.
If you have any of the following materials spare, please let us know as we need them to create the boxes. Bring them to the school and we will store them in the STEM cupboard in the Arts and Crafts room.
- Kitchen roll
- Washing up liquid
- Malt vinegar
- Food colouring
- Vegetable oil
- bicarbonate of soda
- effervescent tablets (like Berrocca)
- golden syrup
- play sand
- table salt
- coffee granules
- dried spaghetti
- marshmallows (big and small)
- cocktail sticks
- shaving foam
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 email@example.com.
Tim Peake's five fun facts about space flight here.
Up and Coming STEM Events
STEM committee meetings - all welcome:
- 23rd January
- 26th January
at 1pm in the Think Tank or Arts and Crafts room.
29th January 2018 - parent/carer and pupil interactive STEM event at 1pm at the school.
10th-18th February - Brighton Science Festival.
Tickets onsite now - details of the event can be found on here. With solar system cycle rides to making slime, there is plenty to interest everyone during this 9 day festival.
14th -17th March 2018 - Big Bang Science Fair - Birmingham NEC (website link) - see below for the Southeast version of this event.
9th June 2018- Horsham STEMfest, at Carfax, Horsham - in it's second year (details here). This is a one day pop-up celebration.
27th-28th June 2018 - Big Bang Fair - South East. Venue: South of England Showground, Ardingly. (website link).
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]
Please send us your pictures of your children enjoying STEM activities.
Bella Jay (Yellow Class) building structures with spaghetti and marshmallows....
.....and her brother Charlie Jay (Green Class) doing the same!
Freya investigating the effects of water and light on plant growth...
Freya measuring which vehicle travels the furthest.....and why?
Bella and Charlie trying out the "How old are your eggs" experiment at the Ardingly Fair...
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! STEM@westchiltschool.com.