Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) Days provide short introductory sessions for students to enhance their understanding of, and aptitude for: problem solving, creativity, design, and engineering.
The ‘Smart Building Project’ STEM day at Barry Comprehensive School was sponsored by The Waterloo Foundation and delivered by The Smallpeice Trust. The sixty year 9 students taking part were expected to work together in small groups on ‘design and make’ projects to improve their creative thinking, problem-solving and team working skills.
The Smart Building Project recognises that energy and clean water supplies are 21st century engineering challenges. Students were given a scenario in which they must restore a clean water supply to an area devastated by an earthquake; they worked in small teams to design and build a system to filter, collect, detect and pump collected rainwater in order to complete this challenge.
Students designed and built a watertight water-collection unit with a built in a filtration system. They needed to assemble and solder an electronic water-detector and make a circuit for an electric pump in order to detect and then pump the water which has been collected.
Five of the students won an Engineering Experience Residential Course at Cardiff University. They will stay at Cardiff University in July where they will work on two extended design-and-make projects alongside real engineers and engage in exciting social activities designed to encourage team work and enhance communication skills.