In conjunction with British Science Week between 10th and 19th March, WGS’s STEM week offered pupils the opportunity to engage with STEM-related activities and discussions under the theme of ‘connections’.
The week began with an insightful assembly by alumna Clare Sibley who is Head of Quality and Manufacturing Engineering at Williams Racing. Clare specialised in Materials Science during her last two years of a Natural Science degree at Cambridge, and since has embarked on a career in Formula One as a Materials Engineer at Mercedes before moving to Williams. After this talk, students interested in exploring engineering were invited to stay behind to speak to Clare in more detail.
Tuesday’s assembly focused on STEM ambassadors including WGS staff and Emma Walker, the first female Master Blender of Johnny Walker Whisky. The assembly looked at the personal attributes and skills professionals working in STEM have and how these contributed to their achievements. There was also the announcement about the 2024 Rainforests trip to Costa Rica. The theme of STEM ambassadors continued into lunchtime with a ‘walk and talk’ session. Pupils could learn more about working in STEM from WGS staff and share their own plans for working in STEM.
Central to British Science Week this year was celebrating diversity in science and engineering and having conversations about the people and roles that make up this varied sector. Conversations were had in Form time about the transferable skills used by those working in STEM-related jobs. These might include being observant, creative, patient, good at communication, or curious. The aim of this task was with the understanding of these skills, stereotypes of those working in the field would be reduced.
During the week, there was also a glider making workshop looking at the forces of flight and how to optimise lift and lessen drag to fly further and better. We were pleased to welcome Gabriella Marfani, WGS alumna, to school who spoke to pupils speak about her professional path. Gabriella studied at Imperial College London, graduating in 2022 with a Masters in Engineering, she now works at Google as a Site Reliability Engineer. Open to all pupils was British Science Week’s annual poster competition on the theme of ‘connections’. Five entries are allowed per school and a shortlist of WGS designs were chosen based on creativity in approach, content and effective communication.
The Junior School also explored the theme of ‘connections’ through a wonderful spectrum of scientific activities. On Monday 20th March, each of the Junior classes took part in a workshop on ‘connections’ by BubbleWorks. In this lively and exciting session, they learned about circuits, different forces, and electricity through an assortment of experiments. They particularly enjoyed generating static electricity using balloons and the effect the Van de Graaff generator had on their friends’ hair, caused great hilarity. Year 3 and Year 4 also took part in a workshop where they built a giant tetrahedron. As part of the activity, they also learned all about civil engineering and what a career in a STEM industry might look like. In class, each form has also carried out a special ‘connections’ class activity, these ranges from ‘Plant Your Pants’ to lunar dials.