STEM Family Challenge

On the last week of the winter term, Ash Hill Academy held it’s first STEM Family Challenge, an event which saw students team up with their parents, grandparents and older brothers and sisters to build a rollercoaster.

The event was delivered by EDT, Engineering Development Trust, a charitable organisation who specialise in developing the understanding of careers in the engineering sector. Beth 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.

It was then competition time! Students had just over an hour in their teams to build a rollercoaster out of some unusual resources. The teams had card, tape, art straws and a marble. The objective – to build a rollercoaster that allowed the marble to roll for the longest about of time. There were also bonus points available for the excitement factor and it’s branding.

“We enjoyed today and all of us have agreed to say it was possible the most fun family event we have ever attended!”.

Every team produced a rollercoaster to be proud of and each rollercoaster was different. However, EDT presented the overall award to Ash Hillabies consisting of Moyia Broadhead (Y9), Moyia’s sister and alumni Kiya Cannon, Molly Broadhead (Y7) and her father Keith, and Alexis Elliot (Y7) and her nanna Shelley.

“Our favourite part was when the rollercoaster structure actually worked for the first time – feeling very proud!”

  • 100% of participants enjoyed the event, would take part in another STEM Family Challenge and would recommend it to others.
  • 83% of participants had a better understanding of careers in STEM and were more interested than before.
  • 83% of participants would like to work in science or engineering after this event when they are older.

EDT will return in April with a new challenge and some valuable information about careers in engineering. Information will be distributed but if you have any questions please contact Mr Hodson.