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Wycliffe STEM day for schools from across Gloucestershire

November 8, 2017 12:11 pm

Globs of slime and flesh eating micro-organisms helped children make their scientific discoveries whilst being taught by Wycliffe Sixth Form students

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The primary school children learned about polymerising as they made gooey slime when more than 450 students from eight schools came together at Wycliffe to study science, technology, engineering and maths.

Sixth Formers  led several of the sessions alongside others taken by leading Gloucestershire businesses.

Justin Clements, Head of Science at Wycliffe, said there was a shortage of children taking STEM subjects and the annual event gave them chance to learn about the varied directions such studies could take them. “We hope to inspire the next generation of doctors and engineers through giving them the opportunity to engage in some stimulating and hands-on activities. At the same time many of our sixth form students are challenged to work with younger children in a way that they may never have done before.”

Wycliffe Preparatory School pupils were joined by children from Croft School in Painswick, St Mary’s CofE VA Primary in Tetbury, St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Nympsfield, King’s Stanley CofE Primary School, Lakeside Primary School in Cheltenham, Harewood Infant School in Gloucester, and Rodborough Community Primary School in Stroud.

As well as making slime they studied micro-organisms through microscopes, created garage music in the technology studio, tried mind reading and magic, and discovered a whole new world using virtual reality headsets.

Mr Matt Archer, Head of Sixth Form, who established the annual event five years ago said it was going from strength to strength. “The pupils participated in hands-on sessions run by some of the best UK industry specialists including Dyson, Renishaw, Rednock, Mantra, Avantis, Rolls Royce and Art Energy. They have been inspired by leading mathematician Ben Sparks and the brilliant Marty Jopson from the One Show. Our Sixth Formers who are aspiring medics, scientists and engineers have been leading sessions with the pupils from polymers to coding.”

Wycliffe Sixth Former, Annie Rees, who hopes to read Medicine at Oxford, and Alex Bolton, who wants to read Biomedics, ran the interactive polymerising sessions where pupils made slime and bendy pens.

Katie Nichols, from Year 5, said: “It was a very interesting day and we learnt a lot. I really enjoyed hearing Marty Jopson and his experiments to describe electricity were brilliant.”

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