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MESTival (maths, engineering, science and technology Festival)


Pupils and staff hosted MESTival, a unique festival organised by staff at the school, on Wednesday 6 July which attracted over 1000 students and teachers from primary and secondary schools across Hampshire. MESTival is the first festival of its kind to provide young people with a thought-provoking and inspiring insight into STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

We were delighted and honoured to have the following statement before the event from Major Tim Peake who has recently returned from the International Space Station:

“I hope MESTival is a great success for St Swithun's School, Winchester, on 6 July 2016.
This festival of Maths, Science, Engineering and Technology will explore the core subjects of the modern world. MESTival-goers will be inspired by the interesting speakers, get involved with workshops and activities, connect with other students, teachers and industry-leaders, as well as, most importantly, have fun.

I hope the MESTival-goers will be challenged to think in new ways about how their futures can be shaped by these subjects. Take it from me that the results can be, quite literally, out of this world!”

MESTival featured an exciting speakers’ programme, hands-on workshops and activities, as well as a STEMzone where MESTivalgoers discovered more about STEM-related courses, careers and products from visiting companies and universities. Students could explore 3-D printing, virtual reality headsets and flight simulators, talk to apprentices, new graduates and university professors. Outside, the sound of drumming emanated from one STEMzone, mixed in with the cries of students zorbing around the back field. Inside, small groups could be seen talking to science writers, computer programmers and airline pilots.
MESTival speakers included BBC science presenter, comedian and entertainer Helen Arney, television presenter and author Stefan Gates, Jon Macey, senior lecturer in Computer Animation from the University of Bournemouth, Dr Chris Budd, Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Bath and Eleanor Schofield, conservation manager for the Tudor warship Mary Rose in Portsmouth.

A programme of STEMinars offered presentations and advice from a large number of other speakers. In addition MESTival visitors experienced displays and exhibitions by Rolls Royce, IBM, the British Army, the Royal Navy, Jaguar Land Rover, Vodafone, The Prudential, Hampshire Police and many, many more in the STEMzone.

Stephen Power, head of mathematics at St Swithun’s and one of the organisers of MESTival, said. “MESTival was a fantastic day, inspiring children from schools across Hampshire to think about STEM subjects in a new light. We were delighted to have so many high profile speakers and exhibitors attending the event demonstrating how studying STEM subjects can lead to a much broader range of careers and industries than perhaps children currently perceive.”
Published: August 3 2016

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