Shrewsbury School

STEM Potential Goes Live

Tuesday 5 October 2021

It was fantastic to be able to welcome onsite the two cohorts of STEM Potential students from state schools across the county to Shrewsbury School on the 18th and 25th September.

Though the programme has been running for a full year now, these were the first in-person events at the School for both the Year 10s and returning Year 11 students due to operating in remote last academic year.

With a large proportion of the students from schools in the Marches Academy Trust and some Year 10s from nearby Priory School, this venture has been a great way to bring like-minded students from the different schools together to support and enhance their GCSE experience in STEM subjects. With continued collaboration between Shrewsbury, Oundle and Imperial College London, the three STEM Potential centres across the UK, this year promises to be full of opportunity for all those attending. Many thanks to Annalisa Alexander – Head of Outreach at Imperial – for joining us via Teams to welcome each cohort.

The first session was the same on each occasion, including insight from current Imperial students into life, work and opportunities at the University followed by a valuable STEM careers session by our Head of Futures, Chris Wain. Students and parents alike battled to be named Kahoot champion, learning A Level requirements, the meaning of ‘MOOC’ and the strengths of specific universities along the way!

For the Year 11s, visiting speaker Sophie Carr (Bayes Consulting) gave a fast-paced session on Bayesian statistics, with insight into her world of work, with the afternoon session involving a hands-on look at the ecology of bees, led by Biologist Sara Fletcher.

The Year 10 Maths session was run by Ian Payne, whose extraordinary practical demonstration of soap bubbles solving ‘shortest-path’ connecting all the corners of various shapes – applicable to real-world road network problems; after lunch David Wray led a practical session investigating the rates of chemical reactions.

Feedback from the sessions was overwhelmingly positive, with one parent remarking afterwards:

“Thank you for the warm welcome at STEM potential at Shrewsbury School. My daughter hasn't stopped talking about her experience on campus today and was amazed by the learning environment and the friendliness of the staff and pupils she met! It has ignited her belief in pursuing STEM in further education.”

Special thanks must go to those colleagues mentioned above and the Darwin Presidents in the Sixth Form who gave up their time to chat with and guide the STEM Potential students on each Saturday: Thea, Ellie, Ella, Marco, Annie and Kitty.

Mr Wray
Head of Science Outreach

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