STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) Club has been running since spring 2010. The Club has quickly grown from a handful of year 8 pupils and now has members totalling over 70 from year groups 8-13.
The club runs after school and students are encouraged to work in small teams and pursue projects and competitions that interest them. Staff follow the student’s lead and facilitate the sessions which include experiments, designing, testing and evaluating.
The teams are encouraged to enter lots of competitions which have led to a number of regional and national successes.
There are several elements to our STEM club:
We have groups of students working on project for Teentech, Big Bang and Talent 2030 competitions. We have had many successes with the student’s projects, for example a group of our KS3 students designed and made a lighting solution for disaster zones. This design won 2 awards at the regional big bang, a TeenTech award and a 3rd place in the Big Bang national competition.
We have a Greenpower team (CAUC https://twitter.com/CAUC_SHS http://www.cauc-f24.org/ ) who design, build, drive and race electric cars. They race up and down the country on race courses such as Goodwood and compete against teams from England and further afield. We have won several awards in this competition and were crowned the 2016 international champions and 2017 runners up.
We have two F1 in Schools teams (development class and professional class) ( https://twitter.com/storm_racing ) who were crowned the 2016, 2017 and 2018 North West champions and 5th in the 2018 nationals. Our all girls team have won the Women in Motorsport award twice. The team design and build small ‘rocket cars’. The level of engineering that goes into their cars is extremely advanced.
We also have a Lego robotics team who have competed for the last two years in the North West region winning the teamwork award on both occasions.
We are very passionate about STEM and all volunteer our time to run this extra curricular club. Success breads success and in 2015/16 Ofsted wrote a report on our school using us an example of best practice of how to get girls into STEM subjects (https://sandbachhigh.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Sandbach_High_School_-_good_practice_example.pdf ). Equally, in 2017 we won the Young Engineer’s school of the year award.
Other notable STEM club achievements include:
- Talent 2030 Engineering category runner up 2018
- Young Engineers School of the Year 2017
- Greenpower International Champions 2016
- Greenpower 1st runner up 2017 & Siemens PLM Solidedge design award
- Project Up Winner 2017
- Teentech category winners 2015, 2016, 2017
- F1 in Schools North West Regional Champions 2016&2017 (Professional Class)
- F1 in Schools National finalists 2016 & 2017
- 2016 Dare to be Different UK Women in Motorsport award
- BroadComm Masters National Finalist 2017
- VEX robotics Teamwork award 2017
- 16 Big Bang North West Awards 2015-2017
- 3 Big Bang National Awards 2015-2017
STEM club started in 2010, but this was an organic process. Two teachers (Heather Lomas and Liz Painter) were wanting to run an extra-curricular club that encompassed Science and Design and Technology. In doing so they started STEM club for KS3 students and it primarily involved groups of students working on projects for STEM competitions. In 2012 I (Daniel Massey) and Kevin Gornall started at the school and joined the STEM club team. Kevin took over the Greenpower team and I worked with the groups of students on creative projects. Since then the staff identified below have joined and we have taken on more a more students and more and more events and competitions.
So in short, we didn’t identify a need, the club grew organically because of the enthusiasm of the individual teachers for their subjects and the receptiveness of our students.
We measure out success in several ways:
- Popularity of the club
We currently have over 70 students attending
- Competition success
Please above for lists of successes
- Impact on students subject choices
Since 2010 GCSE Design and Technology options choices in England have fallen by 43%, but here at Sandbach high school we have managed to increase the popularity of Product Design and Engineering. Nationally only 9% of engineers are female, however many of our alumni have gone on to study STEM and engineering related subjects and we are very proud of this. 35% of our students that go onto study a subject a university go on to Study STEM related subjects.
The staff that contribute to STEM club are:
- Daniel Massey (Teentech)
- Tracey Sellers (Big Bang)
- Kevin Gornall (F1 in Schools)
- Kevin Gornall (Greenpower)
- Liz Painter (Lego Robotics)
- The club is also supported by Kathryn Fowler and Helen Morgan-Evans
Ofsted Publication – Encouraging girls into STEM-related careers: Sandbach High School and Sixth Form College
This documents celebrates and recognises the ‘Best Practice’ at Sandbach High School & Sixth Form College
Read the full document here