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September 30 2014 | Views: 2762
Kent and Medway
What an amazing year for Endeavour, Fort Pitt’s very own Science and Engineering after-school Club. Club members have been challenged both physically and mentally with the wide range of activities laid on for them, from building robots to flying gliders.
The activities have been made possible through equipment loans from Kent and Medway STEM at Canterbury Christ Church University and funding through the Royal Society of Chemistry in addition to top-ups from FPGS Science Department.
The club meets every Thursday at 3.10 and finishes around 4.15, sometimes later. A core of about 30 regulars from Year 7 to 9, sometimes swelling in numbers to 50 (depending on the challenge), with assistants from Years 10 to 12. It is great to see how many friendships have formed across the age gap because of everybody’s common interest in all matters scientific.
With 45 years since the lunar landings, many of the activities have been based around Space science. The stellar activities have included:
All the activities were designed to challenge and stimulate the students mentally whilst proving that science can be fun and sometimes unpredictable! Some activities have had a chemistry slant and involved forensic investigation techniques, ballistics, making dyes, oil paints and pigments, self-destructing machines, disappearing worms, formulating fragrances, sedimentary sausages, making moo glue, glass beads and bracelets, lip balm, hair gels and scented tea lights. Yet other activities tested engineering skills, with K’nex structures, clay models, making and testing concrete, STIXX construction, the ‘Incredible Machine’, paper production and even paper engineering courtesy of the Cabinet of Curiosity who visited the club.
The club activities have been exceptional fun but more importantly have ensured that at Fort Pitt, science is not being ‘dumbed down’ but rather talked up.
It has certainly raised the profile of science and placed it firmly centre stage in the minds of the students. It is also important to mention the success of the club is thanks to Ian Wesson- Fort Pitt’s STEM co-ordinator who is consistently organising excellent STEM activities for the pupils.
The club are seeking further funding to be able to extend the challenges to include the building of electric karts, possibly to match Bloodhound SSC’s attempt at the land speed record. Watch this space! Perhaps you are able to help?
If you are a STEM Ambassador who would like to support a STEM Club or perhaps you are a school that needs help starting one, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org