Pupils from Ditcham Park School got their hands on rare samples of moon rocks and meteorites at an exciting and awe inspiring STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Fair held at the school this week.
The youngsters were given the unique opportunity to actually touch a piece of space rock not of this Earth as they were allowed to handle some genuine meteorites. These rare samples were provide by the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), and included a 1.2 billion-year-old piece of Mars rock and a 4.3 billion-year-old meteorite. The lunar samples were collected in the late 1960s and early 1970s during some of NASA’s first manned space missions to the Moon.
The students were entertained by a fantastic rockets, fire and explosions show by ‘Wonderstruck’ and toured an exhibition hall full of top names in STEM businesses such as Google, Estee Lauder, BOC, the Royal Navy, Morgan Innovation and Siemens. The students were impressed by the technology of two Tesla cars which were on display and enjoyed interactive exhibits such as a Spitfire simulator courtesy of the defence company DSTL. Over the course of the day students also enjoyed workshops such as Winchester Science Centre’s mobile planetarium and Roaming Robots, who work on the hugely successful Robot Wars tv programme.
The event was part of a STEM themed week which was an exciting climax to the school’s STEM programme this year. We have already seen successful results from our STEM programme as three pupils in our Junior School were highly commended for their Primary Engineer Projects which were exhibited at the University of Southampton. Furthermore, two pupils in Year 10 have been awarded a work experience opportunity at McLaren. 5 of our pupils in Year 9 have just been awarded the most innovative project in a Regional STEM competition sponsored by the Engineering Development Trust.