STEM Fair with Bristol Zoo
Year 5 and 6 children from Curry Mallet, Hambridge, Preston, Staplegrove and Thurlbear Primary Schools, as well as Taunton Prep and International Middle School, enjoyed a thrilling day of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (commonly known as STEM) activities as part of Taunton School’s annual event.
Special guests Bristol Zoo Gardens focussed on conservation, with the chance to handle some live animals as well as to see a range of specimens confiscated at customs from illegal importers.
Pupils were able to take part in a circus of many hands-on experiments ranging right across the STEM spectrum, from using a laser to trace vocal patterns to constructing fermentation bioreactors using immobilised yeast cells; growing silver icicles on a chemistry stand and programming different types of robots with ICT and design. Their maths and problem solving skills were challenged using a variety of illusions and puzzles.
The pupils were also invited to enter the “How does Santa use technology” poster competition with some creative and humourous results!
One year 6 pupil from Preston Primary School said: “My favourite activity was putting the stick through the balloon, I thought it was amazing.”
Head of Science at Taunton School Dr James Penny said: “Events like these are very important for the younger pupils as they sow the seeds for their future participation in the exciting and rewarding world of science and technology. It is increasingly challenging for the STEM industry to attract, train and employ the high quality innovative and curious individuals, especially young women, on which our future depends. It is terrific to see the excitement and interest generated in the pupils who visit these events. They are a really worthwhile investment for the future.”
A spokesperson from Thurlbear Primary commented: “Many thanks for inviting us to take part in the STEM Fair, our pupils thoroughly enjoyed it; the enthusiasm and knowledge of each of the tutors leading each session was super. In particular, our pupils really enjoyed the 'hands-on' element to each activity, especially the car building and goo making!”