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A STEM Spectacular

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Yesterday Years 5 and 6 presented some spectacular STEM projects to teachers, peers and parents, as part of this year’s STEM Showcase.

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Year 5’s impressive coding skills were on display in the Undercroft.

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Using Spheros (spherical balls controlled by a smartphone or tablet) or Cozmos (AI-powered robotic cars), each Year 5 group have worked together throughout the term to design, code and create an interactive board game.

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They combined their geometry and computer programming skills with their learning this year about Space, Greek Mythology and the Gold Rush.

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Add in cardboard, crayons, paddle-sticks and glue, and it’s little wonder that this challenge captured the hearts and minds of even the most reluctant coder! ‘Creative’, ‘exciting’ and ‘interesting’ were just some of the words they used to describe this challenge.

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Xanthe, Alexandra and Zara called their boardgame The Greek Game, using the Olympic Games as their inspiration. They said they’d taken a lot of time planning their project and thought it had paid off well for them. While there had been a lot of trial and error, it had encouraged them to think outside the square and make the best use of each other’s strengths.

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Claudia, Audrey and Jessica were particularly glad to be working with Cozmos for their boardgame, Space Gone Wrong, as they found Spheros didn’t navigate around their boardgame quite so well. They’d worked together as a team to develop and design their concept. Although the challenge has tested their patience and resilience, they’ve loved every minute of it.

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Over in the Hall, Year 6’s flexible-thinking was on display, showcasing some pretty imaginative experiments into ‘matter’. Over the past term, the students have been deeply engaged in experimental research on solids, liquids and gases.

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For the Showcase, the students collated their data and prepared static displays, including graphs, particle representations, photos and videos.

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Some of the weird and wonderful experiments the students have been conducting include: Coke Explosions, The Science of Spherification, Fizzling Fun and Slime Time.

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Ava and Nina’s Better Bulla Butter experiment examined what type of cream makes the most butter (Pure Cream), whereas Mae and Jess looked at Power Cubes and more specifically, what Powerade melts the fastest as an ice cube.

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Claudia and Sophie’s The Lip Lab looked at which lipstick changes form most in the car (not Estee Lauder’s Pink Parfait) and Katrina and Sienna admitted they’d had to consume a fair few lollies in conducting their experiment, The Catastrophic Candy, which tested which party candy will melt the most within a minute (Jelly bears).

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Well done to all the teachers and students in Years 5 and 6 for producing a truly Spectacular STEM Showcase!

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Science can be a messy business, but discovering more about ‘matter’ has enabled our students to explore new ideas and use their critical and creative thinking.

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There is a lot to be excited about when it comes to new and as yet unimagined careers in STEM. These new roles will come with opportunities and challenges, and our Junior School girls have certainly shown that they are up to the task!