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Pupils Enjoy Bolton University STEM Challenge

Thursday, 22 June 2017

  • Bolton Uni STEM Challenge - robot programming
  • Bolton Uni STEM Challenge - girl with robot
  • Bolton Uni STEM Challenge - stethoscope
  • Bolton Uni STEM Challenge - examination
  • Bolton Uni STEM Challenge - E-Fit
  • Bolton Uni STEM Challenge - girls with awards
  • Bolton Uni STEM Challenge - winning team
  • Bolton Uni STEM Challenge - participating girls

A group of Girls’ Division pupils attended the University of Bolton’s STEM Challenge. They were split into mixed teams with pupils from other schools, but groups featuring Bolton School girls performed well enough to achieve runners up positions in two activities, and the overall winners were a team which included two Girls’ Division Year 8 pupils, Summer Kay and Kaitlyn Paton! These girls and their teammates will progress to the Regional Final.

The pupils’ report on the day follows:

During the day, we participated in three challenging activities which tested our STEM skills and abilities. The activities comprised of: Robotics, Medical work, and Awareness (using EFit). We were split into groups of four, including members of different schools. This helped us develop our teamwork and communication skills.

One of the challenges that we completed during the day was the robot challenge. This involved using a computer programme to create a sequence of instructions which was then downloaded on to a robot. The robot then moved to the commands, such as sound and turns. From this challenge teamwork skills were definitely useful and being in mixed school teams enabled us to develop these skills as well as making new friends. Although it was challenging as we had never used the robotic equipment, the challenge was rewarding in the end when we watched our programmed robot move in the sequence we felt suitable.

We really enjoyed the diagnostics activity because it meant that we learnt some of the skills required to go into healthcare in the future. After practising several activities such as which questions to ask a patient in A&E and how to analyse information gained from this, we were left with a clear understanding of the process in which illnesses are diagnosed. In the first activity we looked at an x-ray of the lungs, identified fluid and diagnosed the patient with tuberculosis. During this activity we also used a stethoscope to be able to differentiate between healthy and unhealthy breathing. In the second activity we took samples from fake urine and learnt how to interpret the results and also looked at CT scans of the brain and the hips. We identified what abnormalities were present in order to successfully diagnose the patient with a moderate brain injury and internal bleeding due to head trauma and diabetes.

Our favourite activity of the Science and Technology day was the E-Fit challenge. In the activity, we had to observe the individual features of a person and then re-create them on software used by about 93% of police forces in the U.K. They use it to help them catch the perpetrators involved in a crime. We had to work together in mixed school teams to try and remember individual details of the suspects of the crime. We learnt to observe and remember the features of a person using our memory, application and team work skills. We also had to work effectively as a group to achieve an accurate image.

We represented the school well: two of our groups came runners up in the Robotics challenge and two groups came runners up in the medical challenge. Overall the team who won was made up of two Bolton girls, Summer Kay and Kaitlyn Paton, who will now progress onto the Regional Final in Sheffield. Everyone from Bolton School enjoyed this event and it has inspired us all to be open minded about our options in later life and going on to university. We hope this competition will be available next year!

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