Full STEAM ahead for Homewood students looking to the future
From bridge building and broadcasting to water management and understanding disease research: these were some of the many workshops experienced by students at Homewood School and Sixth Form Centre as part of an interactive STEAM (science, technology, engineering, Art and Maths) day last week.
The off-timetable event, involving more than 360 Year 9 students from across the school’s World, Arts and Enterprise colleges, was designed to increase student engagement with science by demonstrating the integral role it plays in the world around them. It was also aimed at raising awareness of the vast array of STEAM-related careers that are on offer to students, as they start on the path to their first qualifications.
Students were able to attend a carousel of activities across the day.
Rupert Brun, a consultant who helps local communities set up their own radio stations, gave students a truly hands-on experience, enabling them to see how to create ‘Homewood FM’.
A team from South East Water challenged their groups to work out how to balance the varying demands for water from both homes and businesses in a typical community.
Students who attend the school’s innovative ICollege were immersed in a full day’s project working with a team from global pharmaceutical company Pfizer, to investigate the process of disease research and how to prioritise that research to tackle different conditions.
The Homewood Animal Care team provided students with the opportunity to learn how to undertake basic health checks with pet animals at Homewood Farm’s new small animal education centre, opened there last year thanks to National Lottery funding.
Other sessions included: group tasks based on the space-related science in the movie Gravity; cooking with yeast; working with essential oils; observing and drawing marine wildlife, and a model rocket car challenge inspired by the UK Bloodhound land speed record attempt.
Students also found out more about the KM Bright Sparks Awards, organised by the Kent Messenger Group. The annual competition, which encourages pupils from secondary and primary schools to collaborate using cross-curricular skills in Maths, IT, science and engineering, is currently open for entries.
Homewood science teacher Lucy Johnstone, who organised the day alongside teacher researcher Dr Claire Tyson, said: “Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, along with Art as a creative skill, are vital to the success of the economy and it is really important that we encourage the next generation to realise this and think about them as career options. Our STEAM day was designed to bring these subjects alive, and show our students their interplay with our everyday lives.”