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Go squid! STEMFest 2017 at the National Marine Aquarium

Posted: 7th September, 2017

STEMFest 2017 at the National Marine Aquarium is returning for the sixth year running, and it’s set to be bigger and better than ever before with a Giant Squid Challenge. STEMFest is designed to offer primary and secondary school pupils from around Plymouth and the South West the chance to experience a full day of hands-on, interactive activities at the aquarium. With two weeks of science, technology, engineering and maths activities (STEM), the event is aimed at expanding pupils’ skills, encouraging them to develop their own ideas and models at school.

Taking place from 11 - 22 September 2017, the students' STEM skills will be tested through a variety of workshops and activities at the aquarium. The central challenge, designed by the aquarium’s team of experts, will ask pupils to consider how to manage the theoretical arrival of a giant squid. This will give students the chance to test their problem solving skills and consider the real-life challenges of managing an aquarium. Additionally, sessions will be hosted in architecture, mechanical, electrical engineering and technology which will be taught by industry professionals from the Building Plymouth network. Building Plymouth is a council led partnership with local construction and built environment stakeholders’.

Nicola Murray, Discovery and Learning Manager at the National Marine Aquarium, commented: “We’re delighted to be offering STEMFest for the sixth year running. The activities that the programme offers are a great way of engaging children with core skills such as problem solving, team work and communication in a fun and creative way.  We find the interactive nature of the tasks really engages the students, sparking their interest, making a positive connection with children and education that we believe to be vital. This year’s workshops will be a great way to achieve all this, using the mysterious species of the giant squid.”

Emma Hewitt, Building Plymouth Skills Co-ordinator, said: “Our Building Plymouth partnership is actively working together to inspire and raise awareness about the fantastic career opportunities in construction and the built environment. By working with the National Marine Aquarium in support of the annual STEMFest we are able to positively influence 1,200 young people and their teachers about the wide range of jobs and skills needed across design, engineering, surveying and management - professional roles which are often not known about. This is also the perfect opportunity to enhance the image and reposition construction skills as an integral part of the vital STEM skills agenda. I extend a huge thanks to local industry friends who have committed an extensive amount of time to help plan our activities and also for hosting our hands-on activity sessions across the fortnight of fun.”

STEMFest activities are developed specifically to support the learning goals of Key stage 2 and 3 curriculums. Primary STEMFest will take place from 11 - 15 September and Secondary STEMFest from 18 - 22 September.