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Challenge Days spark pupils’ passion for science and technology

Gifted and Talented students from local secondary schools attended the North East London Science and Technology Challenge Days held at Havering Sixth Form College.

The Year 8 and 9 pupils from 10 schools including Sacred Heart, Brittons, Coopers, Albany and Chafford, spent the day working together in mixed teams of four to complete three practical challenges.

Challenge Days spark pupils’ passion for science and technology | June 2016

The Robotics Challenge involved the latest Lego Mindstorm EV3 robots where each robot is equipped with infra-red and light sensors, which are used to direct the robot to avoid obstacles. The students learnt how to design, build and then programme the robots to complete the challenge.

The E-FIT Challenge involved pupils witnessing a simulated crime being committed, then using E-FIT software to construct a computer image of the thief.

The Vehicle Challenge gave pupils the chance to design and construct simple electric vehicles from kit pieces which were pitted against each other in a final race.

Marks were awarded for planning, team work and the finished product and the winning team from each day will go on to the Regional Finals which are held at a university in London.

Winners of the Wednesday Challenge Day were Kate Hoggart and Lucia James from Coopers’ in Upminster working with Michael Allan and Josh Cassar from De la Salle School in Basildon. They were presented with trophies by the special guest, Deputy Lieutenant Colonel Mark Bryant, who spoke about how science and technology had such an important role to play in the futures of all the young people who had taken part in the Challenge Day.

Winners of the Thursday Challenge Day were Angela Adeyemo and Alice Kelly from Sacred Heart in Upminster working with Zagros Mohari and Eghe Morgan from Sydney Russell in Dagenham. They were presented with trophies by the Mayor of Havering and her Consort, Cllr Philippa Crowder and Cllr John Crowder, who told the students that the challenges they had taken part in were excellent in developing skills that are needed in the workplace.

Paul Waterworth, Director of MCS Projects, which runs the Challenge Days all over the country, said: “The Science & Technology Days raise enthusiasm for STEM subjects and encourage young people to consider studying them further. These days were a great success and were really enjoyed by the pupils who took part.”