STR, along with Make UK and charity partner the Smallpeice Trust, spent Wednesday 25th January at Miltoncross Academy for a STEM Challenge Day!
The challenge, set up by the Smallpeice Trust and sponsored by STR and Make UK, saw the school’s Year 8 pupils get stuck into the Aircraft Challenge. Exploring the physics of flight through concepts such as aerodynamics and forces, 60 students aged 12 to 13 took part in the event.
Organised into several groups, the students were asked to design and construct an aeroplane out of balsa wood, powered by a propeller mechanism, competing to see whose could fly the furthest!
The session started with students taking part in a Personal, Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS) exercise to help identify the best role for them in the main project. They then put their creativity and problem-solving skills to work on this design-and-make project. Following a day of trialing, testing and triumph, the winning team’s craft flew an impressive distance of around 40 feet! The winners each received a £10 Amazon voucher plus some other goodies from STR, and an exclusive Make UK branded hoodie!
Pupils test out their creations
Our application featured some compelling reasons we felt we deserved this recognition. Throughout 2021 and 2022, as the world began its journey out of the Covid era, STR invested heavily in its infrastructure and its people. From our first-class training academy, investment in IT, our workspace and the local community, through staff benefits, commission packages and flexible working approach, to our ‘you do you’ approach and commitment to EDI, we demonstrated a clear case as to why we’re worthy of the award.
Crucially, we included testimonials from staff across all levels and time-served; there can be no stronger commendation than when your staff wants to tell the world what a wonderful place they work!
“I’m going to go home and try this again with different materials, it was really exciting and I’ve really enjoyed today’s event, thank you.”
Scott, pupil at Miltoncross Academy
Smallpeice Trust’s STEM Day activities are designed to complement the National Curriculum in science, technology, engineering and maths by demonstrating the link between what’s taught in the classroom and the real world. The three businesses also hope that they will help to address future engineering and manufacturing skills shortages. This, along with the current skills shortage, is a particular focus for Make UK.
“We’re delighted to have worked with STR Group and The Smallpeice Trust on such a fascinating project. Making STEM subjects fun is vital if we are to keep students engaged and show them the real world relevance of the topics they are studying and how they impact on everyday lives. Manufacturing and engineering offers a broad range of exciting and stimulating careers and days such as this are vital in attracting our next generation workforce into the sector.”
Jim Davison, Make UK Region Director – South
Through the STEM Days, students receive information about career and higher/further education opportunities, put their creative thinking into action, and learn time management, team work, problem-solving, enterprise, personal and social skills. These STEM Days can also help to raise the performance standards of students, enhancing the curriculum, and can assist schools in meeting requirements for achieving Specialist status in engineering, science, technology and business enterprise.
STR is passionate about encouraging STEM learning at grass roots whilst helping to solve the manufacturing skills shortage today, one placement at a time. Which is why the Group partnered with Make UK to raise funds for the Smallpeice Trust and sponsor events like the STEM Challenge Days.
Clive and Jim present Caroline of The Smallpeice Trust with the £2,000 cheque to fund the day
“A really engaged group of pupils were led by some very passionate and knowledgeable facilitators from Smallpeice, it really was an inspiring day for all of us that brought home how we can participate in our own communities and affect the future workforce.”
Clive Hutchings, Founder and Executive Director at the STR Group
The STR Group is always busy in the local community, across the UK and internationally! Come back to our blog page regularly to see what we’ve been up to.