STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. STEM has become a growing focus at BUCHS and the events calendar for the forthcoming academic year is rapidly filling as opportunities for students to participate in many internal and external STEM events have been created.
Key Stage 3:
Years 7 and 8 are regularly supported in their STEM learning through our KS3 STEM Club which runs each fortnight. All Year 7 students will also be getting involved in the British Science Association CREST awards as part of Curriculum Extension Day. 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 https://www.crestawards.org/
All students in Year 8 have a fortnightly ‘Practical Science’ lesson in which their knowledge of Science as a STEM subject will be used as the foundation for short practical investigations; building on the investigative skills developed through their curriculum lessons.
In addition, selected students are given the opportunity to sit the UKMT Junior Maths Challenge. It encourages mathematical reasoning, precision of thought and fluency in using basic mathematics techniques to solve interesting problems. You can find more information and practice papers at https://www.ukmt.org.uk/jmc
BUCHS will be the host school for the Faraday Challenge Day, where six Year 8 students will represent the school whilst competing against local secondary schools. The students will work to design a project set, manage a budget and present their ideas to a panel of judges. Previously, our school won in the 2018-2019 school year.
Key Stage 4:
Students from Years 9-11 who show a flair for Science, and/or an interest in Engineering and Maths, are also being supported through our fortnightly KS4 STEM Club. Previously, students have been fortunate enough to attend a Ford IT event to practice their coding and engineering skills amongst students from other local schools. We also encourage select Year 9 students to participate in external extra-curricular activities such as the Royal Institution Masterclass at ProCat, Essex.
Year 10 students will have the opportunity to participate in the Biology Challenge and the Physics Challenge; both are national competitions for KS4 students which 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/ Information on the Physics Challenge, and other British Physics Olympiad events can be found here: https://www.bpho.org.uk/bpho/y10-challenge.
In Mathematics, selected students are given the opportunity to sit the UKMT Intermediate Maths Challenge. It encourages mathematical reasoning, precision of thought and fluency in using mathematics techniques to solve interesting problems. You can find more information and practice papers at https://www.ukmt.org.uk/imc.
Key Stage 5:
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 left education to pursue careers within STEM. These sessions will give students an insight into STEM university courses and a wider understanding of the career opportunities available to them. Students interested in pursuing a career in healthcare have the opportunity to attend MedSoc; led by an ex-medic, these sessions introduce students to various medical rotations, skills and ethical case studies, as well as supporting students with interview preparation.
All Mathematics students are given the opportunity to sit the UKMT Senior Maths Challenge. It encourages mathematical reasoning, precision of thought and fluency in using mathematics techniques to solve interesting problems. This is a great opportunity for students to take part in super-curricular activities that enhance their UCAS applications. You can find more information and practice papers at https://www.ukmt.org.uk/smc. We also enter a select number of students into the Mathematical Olympiad for Girls: https://www.ukmt.org.uk/mog
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. They will 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. https://ukbiologycompetitions.org/british-biology-olympiad/ https://edu.rsc.org/enrichment/uk-chemistry-olympiad and https://www.bpho.org.uk/
Year 13 Physics students will have the opportunity to sit the British Physics Olympiad with the potential of entering the BPhO competition. This prestigious competition invites the most able students across the country to seek national recognition of their Physics talent: https://www.bpho.org.uk/bpho/round-1.
We also offer Year 12 students within each of the science disciplines the chance to work together on a project to earn themselves a Silver CREST award. Students select a project of interest to them which builds on their learning but develops this through investigation into ‘real-world’ problems, improving their planning skills and also their approach to practical design and research. Last year, two Year 13 students were successful in achieving their Gold CREST award alongside studying for their A Levels.
Further information about STEM in general may be found at the following links https://www.stem.org.uk/, or https://www.wisecampaign.org.uk/ and https://www.rosalindfranklinstem.com/ which have a particular focus on attracting women to STEM subjects.