Portsmouth High host junior STEM challenge

Following on from the success of the Year 5 and Year 6 STEM Challenge Day, Portsmouth High School hosted a similar event for Year 3 and Year 4 from external primary schools this week.

In a STEM challenge, the girls were tasked to design, build and test a visitor attraction train for Southsea seafront which involved them in thinking, planning, constructing and presenting to a panel of external judges.

Girls from Gomer Junior School, Arundel Court Primary School, St Swithun’s Catholic Primary School, Wimborne Junior School and Northern Parade Junior School joined teams from Portsmouth High School Junior School to take part in the challenge.

The girls were asked to design the visitor attraction train that would run on a test track and to create the travel company branding before presenting to the judges. The panel was made up of Mr Les Creak, Manager, Wärtsilä, a global leader in complete lifecycle power solutions for the marine and energy markets, and Mr David Hill, Technology Faculty Outreach Coordinator from the University of Portsmouth.

‘It has been a lot of fun,’ said India Shivjee, 7, from Portsmouth High School. ‘But it takes skill, creation and imagination.’

‘If you are not good at team work it just won’t work,’ added Imogen Wallace, 8.

‘What I love about this day,’ said Mr Willis, who accompanied Gomer Juniors,  ‘is that the girls are just so inspired by the task that they just get on with the challenge and are immediately independent and so full of ideas. It is a wonderful opportunity for them.’

The winning team was Wimborne Junior School for their WJS team presentation and seafront visitor attraction train.

‘We have learnt a lot about balancing and making sure the train is balanced correctly to make it work,’ said Lottie Parker, 8, from Wimborne’s team WJS.  ‘It’s all about business,’ added Ivy Sandys McCormack. ‘We have to charge money for the train ride but it will be stopping at an ice cream van on its way.’