All of our year 7 pupils were given the opportunity to participate in the Crest award scheme which recognises achievement in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) project work. The children worked in groups to investigate or research anything related to STEM which piqued their curiosity. We were given support by Stem Ambassadors who came into school to offer advice and practical suggestions during their project work. Mrs Whitmell intended to take the designated number of projects along to the regional Big Bang Fair which would give the children an opportunity to show case their work. This work would be judged and the winners would receive an award which would include the great honour of representing the North East at the National Big Bang Fair in Birmingham in March 2015. Only 10-12 projects are nominated for this. However, Mrs Whitmell felt she could not choose the best 5 from the 23 projects to attend the regional competition – projects which ranged from “How your body reacts to fitness?” to “Is gaming Educational?” because they were all inspirational and so she decided to search for an alternative way of sharing the work of our children. A solution was found which was hosting our own Big Bang Fair in Monkseaton Middle school – something the organisers were just beginning to trial this year.
On 10th July all year 7 pupils presented their projects to the 7 judges who questioned the children in great depth about their projects in a gruelling 3 hour morning session. It took the judges over 2 hours to choose the wining projects which are listed below:
- Crest Creativity: Does the colour and flavour of cupcakes affect the choice we make? By Charlotte Lee, Katie Shipley and Jessica Thompson.
- Crest Impact: Do Badgers Spread TB & Should they be culled? By Hetti Vissenga, Abbie Beckett, and Katie Denholm.
The judges felt that these were of such a high enough standard they should represent the North East at the national final!! They were very impressed with another project which investigated “Does the surface affect the amount of bacteria?” by Millie Crews, Holly Thompson & Caitlin Gray and want this group to represent the North East at the National finals too!!
Awards were also given to:
- Caitlin Burns (How does the CSI solve crimes?) for Personal Achievement because her partner was absent on the day of the competition and she was resilient enough to answer the judges questions by herself.
- Matthew Brister, Harry Bodman, Anthony Knights and Ben Evans with their “How can you make a Tesla coil from household objects?” project received an award for leadership, enthusiasm and problem solving for the determination. They showed great success at overcoming the technical difficulties when their coil did not work on the day of judging.
We are all very proud of the children and their fantastic achievements.