The air was alive with science and engineering inspiration at Saint Paul’s when pupils the school took part in an interactive road-show provided by BAE Systems and the RAF.
The event was aimed at raising students’ awareness of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects and the impact they have on our lives. The road-show was designed to address the shortfall of ‘home grown’ scientists and engineers to meet the needs of the country. By capturing the interest of young people, we can hopefully increase the numbers that take STEM subjects and ultimately increase the pool of talent in years to come.
Year 7 and Year 8 pupils took part in the road-show and were able to explore the world of waves – not just waves on water, but light and sound waves too. They looked at how engineers and scientists use their understanding of the different kinds of waves to create sophisticated communications systems, optical devices and ships and submarines that can withstand the crushing pressures of the waves in the sea.
The event featured demonstrations and activities that helped the pupils to understand the similarities and differences between sound, water and light waves. The final part of the presentation looked at examples from within BAE Systems, the RAF and the Royal Navy, where knowledge of different wave types is exploited by engineers to solve problems.
Pupils were invited to participate in some of the experiments; they made some strange sounds using unconventional instruments; they discovered how light waves can actually make objects disappear; and they created water waves without actually touching the water!
Mr Stephen McMahon, Head of Science, at Saint Paul’s explained: “It was a really enjoyable day and got our students thinking about how STEM subjects link into certain careers and how they have an impact on the world around us.The aim of the roadshow was to give as many young people as possible a taste of what a career in science and engineering is really like. The roadshow consisted of a fun, live interactive presentation that challenged perceptions that young people might have of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.”
Deputy Headteacher, Miss Tina Wilkinson, said: “The event featured various sessions which highlighted how STEM impacts and influences the world of work. It was an extremely informative and inspiring event. BAE Systems explained that science and engineering is all around us, and everywhere we look! Without science and engineering there would be no roads, cars, trains or planes, no houses, mobile phones, TVs, or even food! The pupils could see how many things in the world exist thanks to engineering and they were able to gain an understanding of the various career paths available to them for a career in this industry.”