Last week twelve pupils from Years 8 and 9 took part in the North West Manchester STEM challenge at Bolton University.

This was a competitive challenge day that gave pupils an insight into STEM at higher level. Working together in teams of four, pupils undertook activities that gave them an insight into some of the topics that they could study at University.

Activities were designed to develop skills such as planning and teamwork that would be essential to their success in further education.

Activities included:

Robotics –    Teams were provided with a Lego Mindstorm EV3 robot, which they had to programme in order to navigate a series of obstacles. Each robot was equipped with ultrasonic and infrared sensors.

E-FIT – Having witnessed a simulated crime, teams used the latest E-FIT 6 facial recognition software (as used by 90% of UK police forces) to create a computer image of the thief. They also considered problems associated with memory and facial recognition.

Vehicle – Teams had to design and construct a simple battery-powered vehicle from kit pieces, considering power transmission, speed and torque. Each team’s vehicle was timed between starting and finishing lines.

Medical Diagnostics – Teams undertook the role of a doctor, diagnosing conditions suffered by simulated patients. They tested ‘urine’ samples, evaluated brain function, examined X-rays and brain scans, and considered how the brain worked.

Dr Saunders, Head of Science, accompanied pupils to Bolton University and said, “this was a very interesting programme of challenges. It offered a real-life insight into the avenues of Science and Technology that would not ordinarily be possible in school”

Pupils enjoyed the event and found it to be fun as well as educational and said it gave a good insight into university life.

A huge well done to the team of Kiarha Mustofa, Ben Bailey, and Eve Jenkins who were placed as runners-up in both the Medical Diagnostics and the Vehicle Challenges.