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STEAM - Energy Quest workshop

With a huge smile on my face, it was wonderful to be greeting external STEM professionals to school on Wednesday and hold face to face STEM workshops for our Years 8s and 9s.  Our students were given the opportunity to experience a unique insight into the exciting world of engineering. The Energy Quest workshop, allowed students to unlock, empower and nurture their inner engineer through the exploration of alternative energy sources.

The challenge that faced the boys who participated in the workshop was to help rescue 3 young people lost in a forest, one of whom had broken her ankle. In order to do this they needed to find a way to charge their mobile phones using only a packed lunch containing a sandwich, an orange and a KitKat wrapper! As part of the challenge the boys were put in teams of 3, and then they had to utilise and deploy their STEAM soft skills, of problem-solving, team work and communication that would allow them to solve the challenge and recognise how these skills link to those of a real life engineer. Finally, before they were ready to find a solution to the problem the students had to understand what it is that engineer’s actually do with energy? They were introduced to different type of engineers and shown what their day-to-day responsibilities consisted of.

Having understood what skills they had in common with and engineer and what an engineer does, it was time for the practical. The practical presented students with the juicy task of producing fruit batteries from an orange which could be used to charge their mobile phones and help them escape the forest. Using every day metals from coins, the orange and some basic wires students harnessed their inner engineers to create a device capable of charging a mobile phone, and well, the rest was history!

To conclude the workshop the boys explored different pathways into engineering and how to access the qualifications needed to be an engineer in the future.