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
This week's STEM assembly:
Over the last few weeks, a lot of children have been trying to freeze different mixtures at home to see what would happen. After looking at a lot of results we found out that some things like oil or butter didn't freeze or became harder but not completely frozen. In assembly we looked at how freezing and boiling at 0 and 100 degrees Celsius was only for water. Other things 'freeze' or 'boil' at different temperatures.
How cold can it get?
The Kelvin scale has 0 degrees as 'absolute zero' which is what scientists think is the very coldest it can get anywhere in the universe! In Celsius it would be -273°. You'd think that was cold, but at -270°C, Helium boils from a liquid to a gas. See the YouTube links below for other materials which are liquid or boil at surprising temperatures.
Lucas in Green Class was wondering if he could colour sand by putting it in a bottle of water with some orange food colouring.
The sand didn't change colour. It doesn't mean the experiment 'didn't work'. We learnt from it. I wonder why the sand didn't change colour?
At home, some children in yellow decided to try and make the bounciest and least bounciest ball. You could work on this over the summer or answer another question someone had…
Can things bounce underwater?
David Bailey (email@example.com)
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 RobotsKids aged 8 to 12 will learn how to solve problems logically through the fundamentals of code.
Beat Making and Songwriting with GarageBandKids aged 8 to 12 will discover how to create beats and build their own songs using GarageBand on iPad.
Telling Stories with ClipsIn 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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:
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: tbc
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! STEM@westchiltschool.com.