Royal Wootton Bassett Academy students treated to charity STEM workshops

By Jessica Durston - 11 July 2022

EducationSecondary

Bloodhound Education - a charity that focuses on bringing STEM subjects to life - visited Year 7 students at Royal Wootton Bassett Academy (RWBA).

The educational charity attended the Academy to deliver two days of hand-on engineering workshops earlier this month. 

RWBA says it recognises that STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) can provide key skills for the careers of so many young people. 

The Rotary Club of Royal Wootton Bassett & District said they were proud to support the workshops with a donation and attendance of the sessions. 

Sarah Day, Co-Head of Design & Technology and Co-ordinator of KS4 Design & Technology at Royal Wootton Bassett Academy, said: “It was a fantastic opportunity for the students to work with the Engineers from Bloodhound again, and we are very grateful to the Rotary Club for helping us to provide this again.

"There is no better learning experience than to 'have a go' and the students really gained a lot from testing and developing throughout this STEM activity.”

Anthony, an experienced trainer from Bloodhound Education, led four separate sessions over two days, with aims of motivating nearly 300 students.

In small teams the students had to build an air-powered rocket car. The goal of the challenge was to design and make a model car using K'nex, powered by compressed air and capable of travelling a distance of 10m.

For teams that were successful, a secondary challenge was then to make the car travel 10m even faster. The sessions concluded with timed runs to determine an overall winner.

During the process, teams were encouraged to document what they were doing, test their models, observe what the outcome of the tests, and then learn and redesign to improve.

A spokesperson said: "At all times the need for safety was also strongly emphasised and observed. These are all skills that real engineers need."

Rotary club members attended all of the sessions, saying they believed it was evident the students were fully engaged in what they were doing, and thoroughly enjoying the experience. The Club added that it was very interesting watching the different ways that the students chose to construct their cars.

Mark Mudd, Chair of the club Rotary Youth Services Committee was said to be delighted with how the students were engaged in the sessions.

He said: "It was a fantastic two days, enjoyed by everyone and clearly of great value to the students who all embraced the challenge with determination and interest. The quality of the workshop delivery by Bloodhound Education was outstanding, and the event was very well organised by the Academy."

Linda Locke, Rotary Club President said she considered the club's donation 'well spent'.

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