Four hundred children from nine primary schools across Gloucestershire came together at the Stonehouse school to study Science, Maths and Technology.
Sixth Formers from Wycliffe led many of the sessions alongside others taken by leading Gloucestershire businesses.
Andrew Robinson, a former Wycliffe pupil and now MD of Arc Energy Resources in Eastington, led the session on welding with chocolate. Children “welded” Milky bars into sections to see how much weight they could take.
“Days like today are so important for engineering disciplines and for the sciences in general because you need to be getting in contact with students and putting them in contact with the businesses in order to create jobs for the future and to have people to fill those jobs,” said Mr Robinson, whose specialist welding company employs 70 people in Eastington.
“You have to engage with students at an earlier age so that they don’t switch off from Sciences or Maths. You need to hit them in late primary school and say ‘look science is cool and exciting.”
Ten-year-old Ella from Hatherop Castle said her favourite part of the day was the indoor firework demonstration and talk by pyrotechnician Matthew Tosh.
Her classmate Louis said he most enjoyed creating figurines and filming stop-motion animation.
Science journalist Greg Foot, who has worked with TV shows Blue Peter and the Blue Planet, talked to the pupils about involvement in deep sea diving.
Matt Archer, Head of Sixth Form at Wycliffe, said: “We hold the STEM days for three reasons. Firstly our Sixth Formers are teaching lessons. They will learn more about themselves today than probably any other two or three weeks of the year, helping them to build their confidence and grow as individuals.
“With the companies who come to help us we’re helping to inspire the engineers and scientists of the future. Finally we love delivering Science and it gives us an opportunity to do the stuff we love.”
Schools taking part were Rosary, Hatherop Castle, the British School, St John’s on the Hill, Amberley, Bluecoat, Rodborough, Hopelands and Wycliffe Prep.
Companies taking part included: Arc Energy Resources Primitive Technology, Renishaw, Avantis, NAMRC and Rolls-Royce.
Here is what one of our Sixth Form pupils, Lenka, had to say about her experience of helping to run a session on the day.
Going into STEM day 2018, I was excited for the opportunity to teach biology to primary schoolers. Ms. Trainer, James Clements and I ran four interactive sessions which successfully introduced the kids to scientific investigation. The theme of the day was ‘Flesh Eaters’ and it unraveled through a story about missing hikers whose bodies were found in a cave, being eaten away. The mystery easily peaked everybody’s interest and it was fun to hear creative ideas of what might be the culprit behind the injuries (from aliens to bats to blood-sucking worms). By researching the effects of ‘cave water’ and ‘slime’ from the crime scene on a model of human flesh, the kids were able to draw conclusion on cause-and-affect. All eighteen students at a time tended to attentively participate and contribute to the lessons and I loved being part of their learning experience. Previously, by volunteering in a kindergarten I’d taught English, but helping the children tackle practical exercises in science was enticing in a different kind of way. I look forward to exploring further opportunities like STEM day in the future.
Scroll down to see photos of the day as well as a video of the work from the stop motion animation workshops.