An Engineering X-Factor and Robot Wars were just two of the special workshops at Wey Valley School during an activity day organized to challenge Year 8 students’ ideas about engineering.

The STEM Day – shorthand for science, technology, engineering and maths - was organized by Mary Critchell, manager of the 14-19 year age group, and involved outside specialists to deliver activities in school.

The day started with an interactive show, ‘Engineering around the World,’ delivered by presenter Zoe Gamble from Science Made Simple. 

Mary Critchell said: “This was brilliantly designed to appeal to 12 and13 year-olds, and totally engaging, with carefully-crafted demonstrations that cleverly communicated key engineering concepts. 

“We were so pleased with the response of our Year 8s to the ideas and challenges presented - they responded with some excellent innovative design ideas of their own. The day really seems to have raised their aspirations, which is exactly what we were hoping for.”

Students also took part in a design challenge and a series of workshops delivered by the ‘Learn by Design’ team on behalf of Tomorrow’s Engineers, an initiative led by Engineering UK and the Royal Academy of Engineering. 

The workshops helped students develop key skills of decision-making, team-work, communication, presentation skills and creative ideas.

Sophie Suter in 8PAG said: “The assembly was really informative about engineering in the workplace and the robot activities were great fun.”

Lucy Turnbull also from 8PAG said: “There were quizzes throughout the day to test your understanding and the activities we did really brought engineering to life.”

Paul Norman, vice principal of Wey Valley, said: “Our students are telling us they feel they now know more about engineering than before, and that the day’s events have motivated them to consider engineering as a career. 

“They valued the opportunity to work with visiting STEM ambassadors and thought the workshops were great.  We hope we’ve inspired at least some of them to join the all-important next generation of engineers.”