Fifty-three keen Year 7 and 8 students attended a Science and Technology Showcase at the University of Plymouth on Thursday 24th January to gain a flavour of how research in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) has real-world impacts.
Students started the event with a series of hands-on activities linked to Life Sciences, Engineering and Biological Sciences. It was particularly useful for students to see how research in a university links with industry partners, as Derriford Hospital, Becton Dickinson (medical technology), ARGANS Ltd (satellite remote sensing) and The Moment Content Company (virtual reality) were all in attendance. Amongst a wide range of activities, students were able to control robots, use forensics to identify a criminal, investigate how the oceans can be harnessed as a source of renewable energy, find out how to make gluten-free food, find out how biometric data can be used online, build and test water filtration systems and investigate how earthquakes are made and their strength is measured. A particular favourite was driving the Segway and learning how a gyroscope works.
After the hands-on activities, students attended a presentation in university lecture theatres on subjects ranging from Artificial Intelligence to pyromania, while students in the talk about human influence on megafaunal extinctions asked some great questions and really impressed the Student Ambassadors that accompanied the group.
Katie Heard (8K) commented “The marquee was great and had a lot of hands-on activities for us to try. I found it very interesting when we put the VR headset on and saw the extent of plastic in the oceans. It was a great day and inspired me to think about going into a career with STEM involved.””
There were lots of further discussions about what students had seen and how to follow STEM careers while we walked back to school, so it was great to hear students have high aspirations and the desire to take responsibility for their futures. Many thanks to the University of Plymouth for hosting a great event!