STEAM: A year of innovation and exploration

Perhaps not surprisingly for a school based in an area surrounded by technology businesses, we are very interested in STEAM topics - Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Maths. Over the last year our pupils enjoyed a range of opportunities; visits, workshops and other activities with STEAM flavour.

During a visit to Swindon-based INTEL, our pupils took part in some specially designed workshops. INTEL’s ‘Arduino’ gave the children a chance to steer vehicles around a course of cups, they were able to take apart every day computers and, funnily enough, the children especially enjoyed having the chance to programme a robot to make a jam sandwich!

Visiting the UK’s first cooperatively run solar and wind farm at West Mill, the children learned about turbines, learned about how many homes they could power and understand find out how the turbines were remotely controlled from Wales. They were fascinated to listen to the turbines and lie underneath them and watch them turn.

With Architect Jason Prior, who was involved with the designs of the 2012 Olympic City and Dubai’s EXPO 2020 Centre, pupils planned and designed their own cities of the future. There were some very interesting ideas generated by the children for cities of the future that would be great to live in.

Ready to make a margin on their own innovations, the children also designed games with BBC micro:bits, which they pitched to a senior team from Waitrose in their very own 'Dragons' Den'.  The children worked in teams with roles for programming, marketing, project management and sales before delivering their proposals. Team Micro-Man launched their promotional video with the phrase, 'Are you ready to see the best British gaming advert?' and made a winning deal with the Dragons.

Even at our annual Prize Giving event, we kept the STEAM them. The school welcomed Emily Gravestock, Head of Applications Strategy at the UK Space Agency, to made the address. She opened the children's eyes up to the capabilities of satellites, science and space as well as 'management by cake' which she finds to be a winning formula.

The school now looks forward to another exciting year of chances to explore, innovate and create with new technologies.