St. Peter’s and St. Paul’s PS Foreglen played host to the first in a series of school link ups with Sacyr, Wills Bros, Somague Joint Venture, (SWS JV), the contractor responsible for completing the A6 Dungiven-Drumahoe Dualling Scheme on behalf of the Department for Infrastructure and STEM Aware.
During the event the pupils were introduced to a scheme talk followed by Lego building challenges.
The local school children spent the morning session of their day interacting through science, technology, engineering and maths in relating to STEM (an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). in everyday life as well as the world around them. Through workshops and team work they were encouraged to think in a computational manner, as well as being innovative and creative in their designs.
Speaking during the event, Roisin Crawford, STEM director, said it was great to see the children not only taking part, but keen to ask and answer questions while working together on the building challenges set. “These are the engineers of the future, they worked well in teams and had lots of fun, and there was plenty of healthy competition,” she said.
STEM Aware is a company that delivers curriculum subjects in a blended manner allowing students to relate to STEM in everyday life and the world around them.
SWS JV, who partnered with STEM Aware stated the importance of the programme in working with local schools and educating children in the new infrastructure that is being developed around them. This outreach programme with STEM Aware will comprise a number of visits to schools along the A6 Dualling Scheme in the new school year investigating structures, bridges and materials and the new infrastructure’s impact on the local environment.
Public Liaison Officer Pamela Ward said: “In partnering with STEM Aware we are giving children the opportunity to build a route to a better future by encouraging them to consider a field in these subjects, particularly Engineering. I was delighted to see the children not only learning but being inspired and having fun whilst doing so. SWS JV look forward to engaging with Schools in the new term and meeting the next generation of engineering talent.”
Ms. Ward added that they hope to hold a celebration event involving all the schools visited to see what they have learned over the course their visits in the new school year, and teachers will also be given an insight into the subjects attributed to STEM and will be provided with learning tools to continually encourage the children into these future fields within the classroom.
The event involved building challenges using Lego, pupils were estimating and measuring, and constructed some very tall Lego towers that were then subjected to wind tests for stability. Each group of pupils progressively learned to work more productively as team with a very fun approach.
Mr. Michael O’Kane, Principal, said: “I’m thrilled we were chosen first to take part in the programme with Pamela, Roisin and the STEM Aware team today. The children loved all the challenges presented to them and saw how important teamwork is in every day endeavours.
“The fundamentals of maths, linked with science, technology and engineering are important cogs in our children’s lives and play a major part in their future education. We all learned a lot from today’s event.”