Junior school girls take part in STEM challenge

Les Creak, manager of W�rtsil�, David Hill, technology faculty outreach coordinator from the University of Portsmouth, Paul Marshallsay,headteacher of Portsmouth High School Junior School with Ivy Maeve Sandys-McCormack, Astrid Patrick, Erin Ross and Charlotte Parker at the STEM challenge at Portsmouth High School
Les Creak, manager of W�rtsil�, David Hill, technology faculty outreach coordinator from the University of Portsmouth, Paul Marshallsay,headteacher of Portsmouth High School Junior School with Ivy Maeve Sandys-McCormack, Astrid Patrick, Erin Ross and Charlotte Parker at the STEM challenge at Portsmouth High School
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JUNIOR school girls were tasked to design, build and test a visitor attraction train for Southsea seafront as part of an exciting learning challenge.

Youngsters in Years 3 and 4 from schools across the area were invited to Portsmouth High School, Southsea, to take part in a STEM challenge – to encourage them to study science, technology engineering and maths.

The challenge to design and build a train was devised to involve the girls in thinking, planning, constructing and presenting to a panel of external judges.

Participants came from Gomer Junior School, Gosport; Arundel Court Primary School, Landport; St Swithun’s Catholic Primary School, Southsea; Wimborne Junior School, Southsea. and Northern Parade Junior School, Hilsea.

They were joined by teams from Portsmouth High School Junior School to take part in the challenge.

As well as running a test on a track they were asked to create travel company branding before presenting to the judges.

The panel was made up of Les Creak, the manager at Wärtsilä, which manufactures and services power sources and other equipment in the marine and energy markets, and David Hill, technology faculty outreach coordinator from the University of Portsmouth.

India Shivjee, seven, from Portsmouth High School, ‘It has been a lot of fun, but it takes skill, creation and imagination.’

Imogen Wallace, eight, said: ‘If you are not good at team work it just won’t work.’

‘What I loved about the day,’ said teacher Neal Willis, who accompanied Gomer Juniors, ‘is that the girls were so inspired by the task.’

He added: ‘They just got on with the challenge and were immediately independent and so full of ideas.

‘It was a wonderful opportunity for them.’

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