EDT STEM Family Challenge at Ash Hill Academy blew us away!

“The best thing about tonight – working with my son.”

Last night, Ash Hill Academy held its second STEM Family Challenge, an event which saw students team up with their parents and grandparents to design, build and test wind turbines.

The event was delivered by EDT, Engineering Development Trust, a charitable organisation who specialise in developing the understanding of careers in the engineering sector. Becky from EDT spoke about the shortage of people, significantly girls, in this country who have the required skills or just have a lack of awareness and understanding about the prospects in an engineering career.

We were also massively fortunate enough to welcome returning student Nicky Richardson from Aggregate Industries. Nicky spoke about her unorthodox journey to her current managerial role within the engineering sector. It was inspiring to hear the story of a former and female student from our community seeking success in a career heavily populated with male workers.

It was then competition time! Students had just over an hour in their teams to design, build and test their wind turbines using with a variety of materials. The objective – to build a wind turbine that generated the highest potential difference.

Every team made it look a breeze! Every team produced a wind turbine to be proud of and each wind turbine was different; different number of blades, different size blades, different materials used etc. Abi McMinn (Y7), Adelina Ciomaga (Y7) and Alexis Elliott (Y7) along with their families were rewarded for their wind turbines as they generated almost the highest potential difference. However, it must have been written in the wind as EDT presented the overall award to the team of Lloyd Holt (Y9) and Mum with a potential difference of 2.91V!

  • 100% of participants enjoyed the event, would take part in another STEM Family Challenge and would recommend it to others.

  • 90% of participants had a better understanding of careers in STEM and were more interested than before.

  • 90% of participants would like to work in science or engineering after this event when they are older.

EDT will return for Ash Hill Academy’s Career Day 3. EDT STEM Family challenge will also be invited with a new challenge in the new academic year with some valuable information about careers in engineering. Information will be distributed closer to the time, but if you have any questions please contact Mr Hodson.