The STEAM Outreach Competition 2023 has begun

The STEAM outreach competition 2023 started this week, with Reepham Primary being the first of over 30 Norfolk primary schools attending. The pupils were fantastic and fed back that they were all ‘excited and inspired’.

Congratulations to our VEX Robotics team, who have qualified for the National competition

Our VEX Robotics team secured the top 2 positions at the VEX Robotics Competition that took place in Sunderland on Wednesday 8th February. The pupils competed with and against 20 registered teams from all over the UK. The action-packed day required high school and sixth form students to execute the 2022-2023 VEX Robotics Competition game, Spin Up presented by the Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation.

As regional champion recipients, the team has qualified for the National competition in Telford in March extending their journey as they seek to qualify and compete in the VEX Robotics World Championship in Texas USA.

Georgina B, Chloe-Leila G, Avis F, Gabriella H, Emily M and David K prepared for the tournament by working together to design, build and program a robot using VEX V5, that could quickly and efficiently solve specific challenges that come with playing the 2022-2023 VEX Robotics Competition game, Spin Up.

Each week, they applied what they’ve learned about STEAM in the classroom, to build these semi-autonomous machines. An equally important set of skills is learned through the competition — communication, project management, time management, and teamwork.

Robert Hazelwood, the team’s advisor (STEAM Coordinator) said, “I am extremely proud of this group of students, some have been developing their skills in VEX for over 2 years within the Dyson Building. This achievement is the reward for hours of extra-curricular commitment and vast amounts of resilience and teamwork. To achieve a top 10% position nationally is an achievement in itself. I hope they enjoy the national competition and who knows, we could be travelling to Texas for the World Championship!”

The VEX Robotics Competition team meets every week during GAP’s. The pupils learn about electronics, programming, mechanical systems, animation, 3D CAD, computer-aided machining, web design, and materials fabrication.

Rockets were built and launched by Prep pupils during a new after school activity

On Monday 6th February, Dr Louise Betts brought 17 Prep School pupils to the Dyson Building to build and fire some air powered rockets with Dr Taylor (Head of Chemistry). During this after school activity, the pupils all designed, built and decorated their own rocket before launching them. As it was dark, they attached glowsticks to the rockets before launching them across Chapel Lawn. The event was a great success and Dr Taylor is already looking forward to the next batch of Prep School pupils coming to build more rockets.

This rocket building activity will also form a new addition to the STEAM Outreach events, where pupils from over 25 local primary schools will spend an afternoon enjoying STEAM activities in the Dyson Building.

Toby has used 3D printing to enhance the Auden Theatre play library

Toby used the Makerspace in the Dyson Building to 3D print some original alphabet dividers for the Auden Theatre’s play library.

Our VEX robotics teams achieved a top 5 place in the regional competition

The VEX Robotics teams have been working hard since September to prepare for the regional competitions for the ‘Spin Up’ challenge this year. They travelled to Colchester and displayed excellent teamwork, problem solving skills and resilience to reach the top 5 position out of 20. They hope to improve further in other upcoming competitions to enable them to attend the National competition in March.

History STEAM Trench Competition 2022 

The standard was incredibly high this year, with many entries making the final short list. Mr Hazelwood judged this year’s entries and came up with an overall top three ranking. Emilie G came in third place for an excellent model with sound effects and Ilana B took second place for an outstanding cross section complete with full annotations and lovely additional details such as Reginald the Rat. Theo H, Will B and Rafe C came first with their life-size trench system construction alongside a film of the trenches and a filmed reconstruction of a trench attack.

Congratulations to all of the winners, who will receive Amazon vouchers as a prize.

STEAM news this half term

The Dyson building has seen even more collaboration between departments at the start of this academic year. Art, Science, Computing and Maths have all joined forces to deliver some spectacular GAP’s STEAM activities. Students have begun many projects including; an interactive conductive paint wall, bath bomb making, satellite tracking systems, VEX and Lego robotics, F24 electric cars, 3D printing, Electronics and the processes of architecture.

The VEX robotic teams are preparing for regional competitions in January for the ‘Spin up’ challenge this year. The Lego robotics teams are preparing their Sumo bots for a robotics competition in Estonia next year.

From January we will welcome over 600 students from 36 Norfolk primary schools, who will take part in the STEAM Outreach Competition that was highly successful last year.

Any questions please email [email protected]

Year 6 treated to Science lesson held by local bird expert

On Monday 31st October, Mr Dempster (retired teacher and local bird expert) treated Year 6 to a lesson on bird identification. Everyone benefitted from Mr Dempster’s fantastic knowledge and enthusiasm, and they were successful in identifying 48 different species of bird.

Year 12 complete science project for their IB Award

On Wed 14th September the Year 12 IB pupils completed their Group 4 Project in Science.

This project is a collaborative investigation where students are placed in groups and work together to design and carry out a scientific experiment into a given theme. This is a compulsory part of the IB qualification, teaching valuable skills such as teamwork, communication, presentation and the scientific method.

This year the theme was ‘Power and Energy’. The students can interpret this theme however they wish and unlike other lessons where they are given a protocol, with this project they design their own experiments. They were given 2 hours on the Saturday before the practical day to do this and submit their requests and carried out the investigation on the following Wed. This year we had a variety of different experiments on this theme, including:

  • Which fruit/vegetable makes the best projectile?
  • Does a wind tunnel increase electricity output?
  • Do the angle and shape of blades on a wind turbine effect electricity generated?
  • Which foods contain the most stored energy?
  • Which fuels contain the most energy per gram and are the most efficient to use?
  • How does changing the layers of cling film in a home-made solar pizza oven affect the time to prepare a melted marshmallow biscuit?

The students then prepared a presentation and presented their data in a ‘symposium’ style, with students from across the school coming round to discuss their investigation with them. The students then celebrated completing the project with a pizza evening with Mrs Futter. This was a huge success and the students worked fantastically well together, producing some excellent projects in such a short period of time. It was a great opportunity for the new IB cohort to get to know each other and new friendships were made. Well done to everybody involved and thanks to the Science teaching and technical staff for all of their hard work in making this such a success.

VEX Robotics Competition and STEAM activities

Recently, some of our pupils participated in a regional VEX robotics competition at Nottingham University. They showed fantastic resilience, resourcefulness and teamwork at the event and we were so pleased to reach the semi-finals.

In our Makerspace, pupils have continued to develop the electric cars that will soon be racing at race tracks nationally against other schools. Students have been experimenting with a wide variety of projects including drone designing; building and racing; soldering stereo speakers and making casings; and developing self-levitating fly-wheels.