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Science and Technology days raise aspirations in young students

A Challenge day to foster enthusiasm for STEM subjects was held at Havering Sixth Form College for secondary school pupils.

The Year 8 and 9 pupils from schools in the region, including Royal Liberty, Sacred Heart, Palmer Catholic Academy, Shenfield High, Ilford County High for Boys, All Saints, Woodlands, Sydney Russell and Mayfield spent the day working together in mixed teams of four to complete practical scientific challenges.

The activities are designed to stretch and challenge more able students and encourage them to consider studying science and technology subjects further.

Organised by MCS Projects, the day included the following workshops which develop skills such as planning and teamwork – highly sought after by employers:

The Robotics Challenge - each team is provided with the latest Lego Mindstorm EV3 robot, which they programme in order to navigate around a course. Each robot is equipped with ultrasonic and infrared sensors.

The E-FIT Challenge - having witnessed a simulated crime, each team uses the latest EFIT 6 facial recognition software (as used by 90% of UK police forces) to create a computer image of the thief. They also consider problems associated with memory and facial recognition.

The Vehicle Challenge - each team designs and constructs a simple battery powered vehicle from kit pieces, considering power transmission, speed and torque. Each team’s vehicle is timed between starting and finishing lines.

The Medical Diagnostics Challenge - each team undertakes the role of a doctor, diagnosing conditions suffered by simulated patients. They evaluate brain function, examine X-rays and brain scans. They consider how the brain works, seeing equipment operated directly by the brain.

Deputy Lieutenant Colonel Mark Bryant was the VIP guest. He told the students that engineering and technology was the future and that it was encouraging to see them all sharing ideas and working together as teams.


Discover what some of our students go on to achieve once they leave us on our Where Are They Now? page