Written by Niamh R, Year 6.

On the 7th February 2017, Year 6 had a science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) day, run by students from Newcastle University. In our classes, we rotated round five different workshops including: designing our own animals; creating inventions to save waste; building a bridge with a steady structure; making honeycomb and creating a boat out of plasticine and marbles. The workshops helped us to learn how things work and why they may go wrong.

The first workshop was about learning about the different characteristics of animals and why they needed these features for surviving in their habitats. Using this knowledge allowed us to design an animal of the future. The second workshop was about designing and engineering an invention from recyclable waste, to help reuse the waste and reduce environmental pollution. The next workshop required some good teamworking. We had to build a bridge to cross a river, out of construction equipment. We learned that triangles are the strongest shape for building sturdy structures.

The fourth workshop included making some yummy honeycomb using sugar, syrup and bicarbonate of soda and we watched the dramatic, foaming, chemical reaction between the ingredients and learned that sometimes things go wrong. The final workshop was learning why a small pebble sinks in water but a large boat can float on water. Do you know why? It is because the boat has a larger surface area compared to a pebble. In this lesson, we did some experimenting using plasticine to make a boat and marbles to see how much weight the float holds. In the end, we had a competition of who’s float held the most marbles.

So now Year 6 pupils have had a taster at science, technology, engineering and maths, with the help of some great people from Newcastle University. This has helped to encourage pupils to consider science, technology, engineering and maths as an exciting and rewarding career pathway.