The Shropshire Star STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) competition, involving teams from nine primary schools, tasked pupils with coming up with a wildlife centre which would be open to visitors all year round, and creating a model to show how their creation would work.
They were given the day to come up with the design in a challenge intended to test their skills under pressure, including budgeting and ‘purchasing’ the materials required from a ‘shop’ set up for the competition.
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The overall competition was won John Randall Primary School from Telford, with judges saying that the six-pupil team had “thought of everything” with their design.
Shropshire Star comment:
Stephanie Dowley, headteacher at the school, said they were thrilled at the pupils’ achievement. She said: “We are incredibly proud of them. The teacher that accompanied them said they understood the brief very quickly and used problem solving skills to understand what was required and wasn’t required. We are all so proud of them for what they have done.”
Ms Dowley explained that STEM skills form a key part of the learning at the school as they prepare their pupils for the future.
She said: “We have been working with a STEM specialist for about a year now as we recognise the importance of science and design and we know our children will be doing jobs that have not even been invented yet, so we want them to have the clear analytical skills and scientific thinking they will need to succeed.”
Gallery - Winners collect awards:
There were a number of other awards handed out on the day with Apley Wood Primary School taking the prize for best planning, and Lawley Primary School recognised for best problem solving.
The award for best teamwork was taken by Radbrook Primary School, with the best design category being claimed by Hadley Learning Community Primary.
Other schools taking part on the day were Donnington Wood, Our Lady & St Oswald’s, Stoke-on-Tern, and Wrockwardine Wood Junior School.
Martin Wright, editor in chief of the Shropshire Star, praised the efforts of the pupils competing in the challenge, and thanked the sponsors who enabled it to take place.
He said: “It is fantastic to see the enthusiasm for science, technology, engineering and maths. The talent of the young people was obvious to everyone and they really embraced the brief that was set to design a wildlife centre. Inspiring the future generations of engineers is critical to this country’s future and we are delighted to very hopefully play a small part in this.
“I would also like to thank the sponsors and our mentors for giving us the support to help this happen.”
The event was sponsored by Telford & Wrekin Council, biT, and apT.
7 Video also filmed at the event for a film that will be featured on the Shropshire Star website and social media channels in the near future.
Key to the event was the support of Northwood Hygiene Products, which provided some of the materials used by the children in their designs.