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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 Present Ideas for Christmas

29.11.19

The parent STEM Committee has put together a list of tried and tested STEM toys and activity sets which we hope will give you inspiration if you are shopping for Xmas presents in the next few weeks.

Attached here is a list of suggested STEM toys.

On the list is Tobbie the Build-it-yourself robot is being demo-ed in the Science assembly today.

Bella (Blue class) building Tobbie the Robot:


STEM Halloween Boxes 2019

Thank you to everyone who bought a STEM Halloween box last term and we hope you enjoyed exploring the contents and carrying out the experiments. We have some photos which some parents have agreed to share with us on the website:

Finley with Glow in the Dark Jelly

Theo and Sophia with the Frozen Zombie hands!

Micah and Xanthe with the Frozen Zombie hands!!

Louis Valentine in Yellow Class with the Glow in the Dark Jelly. He enjoyed trying the glow jelly but decided he didn't like the taste but liked enjoyed watching it set and adding the sweets every 30 minutes.

Isabel C in Yellow Class enjoying the Glow in the Dark Jelly!

Please keep sending the pictures in, we love seeing them!

We are planning to do the next STEM boxes to purchase in the Spring term, but the money raised this time will help keep the free STEM boxes refreshed until then.

STEM assemblies:


Where is science happening? 31.1.20

A look at science happening all around us + competition.  Please see attachment Science Newsletter 31.1.20 Competition.

Spiders 25.10.19

As Halloween approaches, we look at the science around spiders....! Please see the attachment here.

Climate change 19.9.19

Lots of us are concerned for the environment and want to take action against climate change. Today we looked at the science behind climate change. Please see attachment here.

Pressure 15.3.19

Today we talked about pressure. Samuel stood on some eggs in todays assembly, but they did not break! How was this possible? Please see attachment Pressure.

Science at home 8.2.19

Today we were treated to some experiments and demonstrations from children who had been thinking about science outside of school. Maybe you could share some science you've been doing at home? Please see full details of assembly here.

Viscosity 11.1.19

In today's assembly we looked at viscosity and how it describes how runny a liquid is. Please see full details of the assembly here.

How big could an animal be? 19.10.18

In assembly we looked at the largest animals in the world. Please see full details of the assembly here.

Spicy foods 5.10.18

Following on from learning about taste, we spent today's assembly finding out about why spicy food makes your mouth feel hot. For full details click here.

Tasting Science 24.9.18

On Friday we learnt about teh science of taste. Full details can be found here.

It's boiling! 17.7.18

Over the last few weeks, a lot of children have been trying to freeze different mixtures at home to see what would happen.Sea Level Rise. Full details of the assembly are here.

STEM news


Kitchen experiments with the kids

A newspaper recently published great article about some messy kitchen experiments that you could try with your children (link).

Explosive science behind firework

Occasions like Bonfire Night, New Years Eve, Diwali and the Fourth of July weekend are marked by fireworks displays every year. But the flare and skill of fireworks today wouldn't exist, without some simple, but clever, chemistry.

So how do fireworks work exactly? How are they made – and how do they get their different colours?

The Royal Society of Chemistry's Dr Joanna Buckley invited the BBC to the chemistry laboratories at the University of Sheffield to take a closer look at the science behind fireworks.

LINK to BBC video.

From CBeebies: 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


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 area by the doors to the main hall. If you're unsure where to look, just ask.

Spooktacular Halloween STEM boxes - now available!

To raise funds for the STEM box initiative, special edition Halloween Activity kits are on sale for the children to take home over October 2019 half term. Below are pictures of what the kits do:


Order forms have been sent to all parents by email and some via the year group WhatsApp groups, or can be downloaded Order form.

The next special themed STEM boxes for sale for Easter 2020 end of term holidays.



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.

Please email stem@westchiltschool.com if you would like to become involved even if you are just an "ideas person" rather than being hands on.



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! STEM@westchiltschool.com.