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Junior School STEM partnership

Junior School STEM partnership

In Junior School, our STEM teachers worked in partnership with Fulbourn Primary School on an engaging STEM Outreach Day for Year 5 pupils.

At the end of January, we were delighted to welcome 22 Year 5 girls from Fulbourn Primary School to participate in our STEM Outreach Day alongside our own Year 5 girls.

To infinity and beyond

The theme of the day was 'Space Exploration' and consisted of two extended workshop sessions to develop STEM and Computer Science skills. These sessions were led by our Year 5 class teachers, Mr Ashford and Miss Lowe, and our Computer Science Coordinator, Mr Severy. 

Coding mission

In the Computer Science workshop, the girls worked collaboratively in inter-school teams to program CrumbleBot robots to explore the surface of Mars as part of an unmanned space exploration.

They were given a three-part mission and had to develop the computer code required to allow their CrumbleBot to:

  • follow the route marked out by a previous mission in order to find the cave system
  • explore the cave system and find the way out again
  • return to the spacecraft by following a searchlight beam

Their code needed to work completely automatically, as they couldn't communicate with the CrumbleBot once it had left the spacecraft!​ In order to achieve this they had to understand and use monochrome, ultrasonic and light sensors; analogue and digital signals; variables; conditional statements; and nested loops.  

Return from Mars

In the STEM workshop, the girls focused on the return journey from Mars to Earth. They had to construct a catapult mechanism to launch the unmanned space capsule back into space on the correct trajectory, and a parachute to allow a controlled landing back on Earth.

Once completed, these had to be thoroughly tested and improved to try to land the capsule consistently on target. As well as developing their practical construction skills, this required an understanding of forces including gravity and air resistance, as well as the relationship between kinetic and potential energy.

We hope that all the girls have been inspired by exploring some of the real-world applications of STEM subjects and can see their own potential for a possible future career in a STEM-related industry. 

STEM in our Junior School

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