The Gregg School

STEAMfest in Action: Helping in Humanitarian Crises

Published by Leighton Park School on Tuesday 4th of June 2024

Leighton Parks ‘STEAMfest’ took place on Thursday 23rd May on Ten Acre Field at Leighton Park; the annual Key Stage 2 celebration of Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Maths, hosting over 250 Year 5 children from seven different Primary and Prep schools in the local area. The theme of the event centred around Helping in a Humanitarian Crisis and the pupils explored how STEAM could assist through three fun and interactive sessions. Pupils tackled hands-on challenges to build a stormproof shelter, transport essential aid on a raft and move clean water as efficiently as possible using tarpaulins. The Year 5s didn’t just gain important knowledge of what a Humanitarian Crisis is. As Leighton Park’s Deputy Head Academic, Alex Wallace, explained to our visitors “Our other aims of today are to get you thinking about problem solving, working in groups and collaborating with each other, because in the real world skills of teamwork are so very important”. Over the course of the day, the visiting schools were organised into three distinct sessions: Southcote Primary first, followed by Peppard Primary, New Christchurch Primary and Thameside Primary, with Maltman’s Green, Highfield Prep and Trinity Christian School in the final session. Each school split into smaller teams of five students and were each supported by Leighton Park Academic and Sports scholars. Shelter building was filled with squeals of laughter as the children endured the strong storm, which was created by Jeff Fuller, DT teacher, brandishing a hose! The teams were each given a selection of objects and materials including wooden posts, plastic tubing, bungees, long rope and piece of tarpaulin, from which they could use their imagination and iterative design to construct their shelters. When the storm came, the ultimate test was to see if any team members got wet

Meanwhile, Rachel Milhofer, Chemistry teacher, ran a session about transporting essential aid, in the form of eggs, on a raft. The students were challenged to think creatively and build a raft using only marshmallows and spaghetti that would be capable of floating even when the weight of eggs was added. The third and final station involved the transportation of water between two buckets using tarpaulins, rope, bungees, and sticks challenged by Sam Bates, Biology teacher. Forces and momentum were key, and several teams learned valuable lessons about gravity, proving to be a great introduction to STEAM as combining cross-curricular activity, problemsolving and creativity. A Year 5 student from Southcote primary school shared her thoughts on the day after finishing her three action packed sessions: “I love STEAMfest because I like to do lots of fun activities and help people. It’s also great to design your own things and be creative and have to think about the activities and how you will achieve each goal”. The three activities were interspersed with breakout sessions, where some of LP’s Sports Scholars & Sports Leaders encouraged the Year 5s to copy their dance moves to songs like Dua Lipa’s Dance the Night, Pitbull & Ke$ha’s Timber, and YMCA by Village People. Energy levels were further enhanced with the help of cookies from Oakview, and those staying for lunch enjoyed picnics on the field. Deputy Head of Trinity Christian School, Mrs Chrissy Towers shared her feedback of the event: “I don’t know if the children would have experienced an event like that before- they said it was absolutely amazing! The staff did so well- you seemed to have thought of everything, including washing hands stations for sticky fingers! Very well managed and arranged. The pupils, helping were so kind, confident and fun! All of the staff I met were lovely too. Well done!” At Leighton Park our innovative approach to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) places real emphasis on harnessing our students’ creative talents and blending them with skills in critical thinking, creative problem solving, entrepreneurship and leadership as part of our vibrant interdisciplinary curriculum. We challenge our students to apply these skills to real-world problems facing industry and society today and it is a pleasure to introduce these skills to the local community before senior school. With our explicit focus on creativity, we give girls and boys everything they need to take an idea and make it fly.

STEAMfest in Action: Helping in Humanitarian Crises - Photo 1
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