STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.
STEM has become a growing focus at BUCHS and the events calendar for the 2018-19 academic year is rapidly filling as opportunities for students to participate in many internal and external STEM events have been created.
Year 7 and 8 are regularly supported in their STEM learning through our KS3 STEM club which runs each fortnight with the support of our visiting STEM ambassador engineer. We are fortunate that he is able to bring into the school equipment which enables students to experiment with electronic circuits, chemical reactions and engineering challenges amongst other tasks.
All Year 7 students will also be getting involved in the British Science Association CREST awards this year as we embark on out first CREST curriculum extension day in which students will be taking part in the planning and undertaking of a scientific investigation earning them a Discovery CREST award. Further information about CREST can be found here http://www.britishscienceassociation.org/crest-awards.
Students from Years 9-11 who show a flair for Science, and/or an interest in Engineering and Maths, are also being supported by our visiting STEM ambassador this year in a Micro:bit coding workshop which is running fortnightly. Some students have already been fortunate enough to also attend a Ford’s IT event to practice their coding and engineering skills amongst students from other local schools. A few Year 9 students are attending a Royal Institution Masterclass at ProCat, Essex.
Year 10 students will this year have the opportunity to partake in the Biology Challenge, a national competition for KS4 students which will encourage them to take an interest in science current affairs as well as utilising their learning at GCSE level to approach a series of questions. Information on the Biology Challenge, and other Royal Society of Biology events can be found here https://www.rsb.org.uk/get-involved/rsb-competitions/biology-challenge.
STEM careers advice will be on offer throughout the year with the introduction of lunchtime sessions where students can meet various members of industry and students who have gone away to begin careers within STEM. These sessions will give students an insight into university courses using STEM subjects and a wider understanding of the career opportunities available to them as a result, through question and answer sessions.
Year 12 and 13 Biology students will have the opportunity to take part in the British Olympiad competitions, as well as the newly introduced Intermediate Olympiads. These national competitions test students' wider understanding and application of A level science as well as their learning from lessons and, challenge even the most able students. Previous years have seen students obtain Bronze, Silver and Gold awards for their participation and success in the competitions. The highest performing students have the opportunity to move forward to international competitions competing with students across the globe. More information can be found here http://www.ukbiologycompetitions.org/british-biology-olympiad/, http://www.rsc.org/campaigning-outreach/outreach/educators/uk-chemistry-olympiad/ and https://www.bpho.org.uk/.
This year we are also offering Year 12 students within each of the science disciplines the opportunity to work together on a project to earn themselves a Silver CREST award. Students will have the opportunity to select a project of interest to them which builds on their learning within lessons but develops this to investigate ‘real-world’ problems, improving their planning skills and also their approach to practical design and research.
Further information about STEM in general may be found at the following links https://www.stem.org.uk/, http://www.stemnet.org.uk/ or, https://www.wisecampaign.org.uk/ which has a particular focus on attracting women to STEM subjects.
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