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Top of the Bench Chemistry Competition 2010

by Guest Blogger: STEMPoint 1. February 2010 14:49

Once again the East Midlands Top of the Bench Chemistry Competition was a great success. Top of the Bench is a national competition run by the Royal Society of Chemistry for 14-16 year old students.  This year’s regional final, which allows the winning team to enter the national final, consisted of teams of students, two from year 9, one from year 10 and one from year 11 from schools across the region. The University of Derby hosted the event for the first time on Saturday 30th January 2010 under the guidance of Alan-Shaun Wilkinson and opened by Professor John Coyne, the University’s Vice-Chancellor.

This years contest involved a gruelling 30 minute quiz followed by a tough and exciting practical challenge. The aim of the challenge was to try and find out the atomic mass of the object named ‘mysterium.’ The mysterium was actually solid zinc. The team who achieved the greatest accuracy received the most points. Whilst the contestants were having their lunch break they were able to experience a demonstration of making ice-cream with the aid of liquid nitrogen. This was done by two of the University’s scientists, Professor Trevor Brown and Ian Shropshire. The students even got to taste the vanilla flavoured ice cream, which had been made at -196 Celsius. The winning team was chosen by how many questions in the quiz they got right and the most accurate measurement of the atomic mass of the mysterium.  

Congratulations go to Karan Kupur, Jack Ren, Nikhil Dattani-Patel and Jamie Herring from Loughborough Grammar School for winning the regional competition. Special thanks is given to the University of Derby’s Education, Health and Science Faculty, the Derbyshire Educational Business Partnership and STEMNET for without them, the event wouldn’t be possible. Cathy Brown, STEMNET Regional Director for the East Midlands, said: ‘It was great to once again see such enthusiastic students from a wide variety of schools performing high quality scientific investigations under the pressure of a regional competition.’  

Other schools that were involved were Stamford School, Derby High School, Rushy Mead School - Leicester, Ockbrook School - Derbyshire, The Kings School – Grantham, Deincourt Community School – Chesterfield and Nottingham High School.

Article and Picture supplied by: George Peck (Yr7) @ Anthony Gell School, Wirksworth, Derbyshire

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One of only twelve men to walk on the moon lands in Leicester

by Guest Blogger: CathyB 25. November 2009 09:40

On Friday 20th November, a lucky group of over 80 school students from across the UK met Charlie Duke, the NASA astronaut who became the tenth and youngest man to walk on the moon in 1972. This was the fantastic finale for the day at the National Space Centre in Leicester during which the students participated in workshops linked to space exploration, astronomy and physics, supported by STEM Ambassadors from local businesses. The strong message that these young people were given throughout the day was that they will be able to find lots of opportunities in the thriving UK space industry and that one of them might even become a British astronaut.

In the evening, Charlie Duke spoke to an invited audience of 500 at the University of Leicester.

Charlie Duke described his amazing experiences on Apollo missions, how his STEM skills helped him in his role, and how he is able to encourage and inspire young people to reach their goals and beyond.

I was fascinated to hear about how it felt to go into space and to walk on the moon from one of the very few people who has experienced it. The astronauts obviously had a bit of fun on the moon. The audience enjoyed the story about Charlie Duke and his fellow astronaut trying their ‘Space Olympics’. Mission control scolded him when he fell over after attempting a high jump. Damage to your backpack could prove fatal and getting up on the moon is not easy.

These events were organised by STEMNET, the National Space Centre and the University of Leicester.

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Top 10 Employability Skills Guide

by JenniferD 2. November 2009 12:28

 

A new guide has been compiled with contributions from a range of UK-based companies to identify the top 10 employability skills which they look for in potential employees. The guide goes one step further by giving examples of how young people could show evidence of these skills in an interview or application for a job. Examples, many of which are STEM-related, are given of where young people may have developed and demonstrated skills both in and outside lessons. 

Employability Skills can be defined as the transferable skills needed by an individual to make them ‘employable’. Along with good technical understanding and subject knowledge, employers often outline a set of skills that they want from an employee. These skills are what they believe will equip the employee to carry out their role to the best of their ability. 

Employability depends on your knowledge, skills and attitudes, how you use those assets, and how you present them to employers. 

The guide has been compiled by STEMNET and is available to download at http://www.stemnet.org.uk/resources/employability_skills_guide.cfm

Guest Blogger: Cathy Brown, STEMNET

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New STEM Clubs Network

by Guest Blogger: CathyB 10. September 2009 14:55

All schools in the UK are invited to join the new nationwide STEM Clubs Network either by affiliating an established club or by starting a new one. The initiative, which is aimed at 11-14 year-olds, aims to tackle the UK’s STEM skills shortage by transforming the way young people engage with these subjects and linking what they learn to the real world. It will also give teachers access to the very latest in best practice as well as invaluable professional advice, resources, contacts and personal support.
Although the focus is on encouraging every secondary school in the UK to join the STEM Clubs Network, any school is welcome to join this free network.
 
The STEM Clubs Network is co-ordinated by STEMNET and builds on the highly-successful After School Science and Engineering Clubs pilot funded by the Department for Children Schools and Families (DCSF) which has been running since 2006 involving more than 10,000 students in 500 schools.
 
Teachers interested in setting up a STEM Club in their school should e-mail
to register their interest, or go to www.stemclubs.net to find out more information.

Guest blogger: Cathy Brown, STEMNET

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Disclaimer

The views expressed in this Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions or policies of the East Midlands STEM Partnership, its partners or funders, including East Midlands Development Agency.

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