Year 7 STEngineers Catapulting to Success
A STEM-based education is more than just teaching science and mathematics concepts.
With a hands-on approach to learning and real-world applications, a STEM education gives students a variety of skills needed to thrive today, from problem-solving to critical thinking, to acceptance of failure, and more.
STEngineers is an elective open to all Year 7 students here at the College. It runs for one semester and comprises of two lessons per week.
The purpose of STEngineers is to provide students with the opportunity to develop skills around innovation, creativity, design, and collaboration.
By the completion of the elective, students will have integrated technology into problem-solving, combined engineering with artistic projects, and developed solutions to a variety of problems.
Students get to work on some pretty exciting projects, including the creation of a spaghetti tower, Olympic bridge, and mini-golf course!
Most recently, our Year 7s worked together in small teams to design and build a catapult! As part of the challenge, students had to ensure that they could catapult their payload through a set of goalposts.
“We chose for students to design a catapult, being that it is more dynamic in nature. It involves moving parts, whereas most of the other challenges (eg bridges) are more static. It has been a lot of fun for all involved”, says Callum Tilak, Science Teacher & STEngineers Coordinator.
“The catapult challenge also ties in well with the forces curriculum topic, in which students need to understand forces including gravity, and simple machines such as levers”, adds Callum.
We asked some students what their experience was like building a catapult.
Summer Golding, said “Building and studying catapults has overall been a great experience. I have had to put my resilience to the test, as our first design didn’t really have the outcome we had hoped for. But we managed to produce an alternative design and had fun firing it in a competition.”
Through completing these projects, students can work with others to develop crucial communication skills, whilst applying scientific concepts and creating something with their own hands.
Callum says, “Creating something from start to finish provides a sense of fulfilment that is unlike any other type of activity”.
We asked Callum why he would encourage our girls to take part in the STEngineering elective.
“Without the presence of women in the field of STEM, innovation will be limited and exclude half of the population. We need more women in STEM to further innovation and better represent the needs of society. It enhances women’s economic security, ensures a diverse and talented STEM workforce, and prevents biases in these fields and the products and services they produce.”
So, if you think your daughter may be interested, we would definitely recommend she take up this elective!