Year 8 STEM Lego Mindstorm Challenge – Thales
On Tuesday 17 April we were very fortunate to host Thales who delivered a Lego Mindstorm Challenge to some of our Year 8 students. The event involved students building, programming and commanding Lego robots in a fun and engaging way. Students were soon in control of robots that drive, shoot, slither, walk, slam, and spin – to name just a few of the actions that come with this challenge. Thales also brought with them some of their current apprentices to help support and engage with the students and this also provided a great opportunity to explore potential STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Design and Mathematics) future career destinations.
Rachel Major, 8E2 said “representatives from Thales came into school to show us the Lego Mindstorms equipment and we got to build our own robot using software on a tablet which was linked to a coded box on the robot. We learnt about how each of the different parts works, for instance the use of sensors to inform the robots when there was something near. It was an amazing experience that enabled me to see how STEM subjects can apply to the real world.”
We thank Thales for supporting our students with this exciting opportunity.
Mathematics Puzzle Day
On, Wednesday the 11th of October 2017, Year 7 participated in the Mathematics department’s Puzzle Day, delivered by the Mathematics teachers and the Happy Puzzle Company.
The students took part in a 5-part carousel of activities centred on improving the students’ appreciation and enjoyment of mathematics. They rotated through the carousel in their tutor groups, working in small collaborative groups to solve and investigate complex problems and puzzles.
The activities they took part in are designed to develop the key skills of a good mathematician: Tangram tiles which focused on spatial reasoning and building resilience, code-breaking to develop logical reasoning, pattern recognition skills and its historical importance in the Second World War, and the Leap-Frog investigation focused on the need for a systematic methodology, pattern recognition, the L-Totals investigation demonstrates the importance of systematic investigation and the importance of generalisation through the use of algebra. The Happy Puzzle Company also ran one of the sessions which uses an number of activities and team based games to develop and show the importance of team work, lateral thinking and resilience in the face of adversity.
The student’s feedback and comments on Puzzle Day were overwhelmingly positive. Students in particular commented on how they had learnt to ”work in teams” effectively, to “support each other” and to “not give-up and keep trying.” Many said how surprised they were by “how much mathematics there is in seemingly unrelated topics” and “how important it has been throughout history.“ Puzzle Day was declared a success by the students of Year 7.