The end of the spring term at St Mary’s Lower Primary School saw the children and school community celebrate STEM week. During the week, the children enjoyed learning about leaders in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. They conducted investigations and experiments, explored the lives and successes of different STEM leaders and Year 2 undertook a home learning project.
Nursery immersed themselves in awe and wonder experiments such as creating magic milk, shooting balloons and seeing how different materials reacted when mixed together. They focused on the work of Robert Goddard – the ‘father of US rocketry’. Reception enjoyed exploring materials such as oobleck, following rainbow patterns using duplo, learning about Florence Nightingale and planting cress seeds.
Year 1 learnt about space and took a closer look at Tiera Guinn Fletcher – a rocket engineer. They enjoyed space themed activities such as creating a nebula in a jar, designing a poster of a rocket and other hands-on investigations. Year 2 learnt about Rachel Carson (a biologist well known for her writings on environmental pollution) and undertook independent science experiments looking at how to conduct a fair test and different ways of recording results. Year 2 also participated in this year’s STEM fair by undertaking a home learning project based around the STEM area of their choosing.
The projects for the STEM fair were particularly impressive, ranging from video presentations about experiments conducted at home to 3D models and interactive electricity boards. The judges certainly had their work cut out for them. After lots of deliberation, the Year 2 STEM fair project overall winner was Nouha Tarrack Nouichi and the runners up were Yahli Uman, Paisley Gerrard and Adam Kreish.
During the week, the children were each given the opportunity to invite a trusted adult into school to take part in a STEM activity with them. The lower school children were tasked with making a ramp out of recycled materials to see which team could make the egg roll the furthest, whereas the upper school pupils and trusted adults were asked to create a parachute and a basket for an egg, with the objective of being the team whose egg was the least damaged and whose parachute fell the slowest.
Maths Coordinator, Ms Canepa, said: ‘We were so glad to have been able to reach out to the wider school community by inviting trusted adults to come and take part in our STEM week; particularly with COVID as a backdrop. The children love having their loved ones come in to work with them and the adults also had a lot of fun competing against the other teams – I think it’s been a very positive experience all round!’
Science Coordinator, Mrs Stych, added: “For us as a school, our community links are extremely important, when we are able to bring home and school life together for our children, we are tethering their learning in a shared experience with a loved one. This is something we have always valued and we work hard to forge a close working partnership with our pupils’ families, so it was lovely to have yet another opportunity to foster these essential links.’
On the final day of STEM week Mrs Stych, Mr Capurro and Ms Canepa led a ‘demo day’ where the different year groups gathered in the playground to watch and take part in impressive science demonstrations which involved launching ‘rockets’, creating elephant toothpaste, racing balloons and the crowd pleaser mentos and coke ‘experiments’.
ICT Coordinator (Ag), Ian Capurro, commented: ‘It’s always great when we can get the school community together, outside and having fun. The children have thoroughly enjoyed this whole week and the excitement during the demonstrations was palpable: we had a blast! We made it a bit competitive by having teachers from the different year groups ‘compete’ against each other and the children were really swept up in the excitement.’
Head Teacher at St Mary’s Lower Primary, Mrs Sanguinetti, said: ‘STEM week has been great, there has just been a positive buzz around the school the whole time. As always, our excellent staff really took everything on board and worked tirelessly to plan and deliver an impressive STEM week jam packed with fun, engaging and diverse activities. A special mention to Mrs Stych, Mr Capurro and Ms Canepa who as the respective coordinators of Science, ICT and Maths worked hard to coordinate all our efforts and make STEM week a fruitful and enjoyable week for all.’