Rotary supports STEM workshops at Royal Wootton Bassett Academy

6th-7th July 2022 Bloodhound Education delivers engineering workshops to year 7 students

STEM workshops at Royal Wootton Bassett Academy for year 7 students.

6th and 7th July 2022:

Bloodhound Education, a charity that brings STEM subjects to life, visited Royal Wootton Academy for two days of hands-on engineering workshops. STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) are key skills for the careers of many young people. The Rotary Club of Royal Wootton Bassett & District are proud to support the workshops with a donation and attendance of the sessions.

Anthony, an experienced trainer from Bloodhound Education, led four separate sessions over two days, motivating nearly 300 students. In small teams the students had fun building an air-powered rocket car. The goal of the challenge was to design and make a model car using K'nex, powered by compressed air and capable of travelling a distance of 10m. For teams that were successful, a secondary challenge was then to make the car travel 10m even faster. The sessions concluded with timed runs to determine an overall winner.

During the process, teams were encouraged to document what they were doing, test their models (again and again), observe what happened, learn and redesign to improve. At all times the need for safety was also strongly emphasised and observed. These are all skills that real engineers need.

Rotary club members attended all of the sessions, commenting that it was evident the students were fully engaged in what they were doing and thoroughly enjoying the experience. It was very interesting watching the different ways that the students chose to construct their cars.

At the end of each session, the students all agreed they'd had a lot of fun and thought that they would be able to build a better car next time based on what they had learnt.

Sarah Day, Co-Head of Design & Technology and Co-ordinator of KS4 Design & Technology at Royal Wootton Bassett Academy, said “It was a fantastic opportunity for the students to work with the Engineers from Bloodhound again, and we are very grateful to the Rotary Club for helping us to provide this again. There is no better learning experience than to 'have a go' and the students really gained a lot from testing and developing throughout this STEM activity.”

Mark Mudd, chair of the club Rotary Youth Services Committee was delighted with how the students were engaged in the sessions. "It was a fantastic two days, enjoyed by everyone and clearly of great value to the students who all embraced the challenge with determination and interest. The quality of the workshop delivery by Bloodhound Education was outstanding, and the event was very well organised by the Academy." Linda Locke, Rotary Club President considered the club's donation 'well spent'.

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