On Wednesday 6th July, 29 Noadswood pupils went to St Swithuns school in Winchester for the first ever festival of Mathematics, Engineering Science and Technology (MESTival). Attracting close to 1000 students (years 5-13), St Swithuns opened their doors to schools across Hampshire, providing young people with a thought-provoking and inspiring insight into STEM.
The 29 Noadswood pupils, from year 7 to year 10, were split into groups with year 7, 8 and 9 undertaking activities run by Land Rover, Rolls Royce, Vodaphone, the Army and the Royal Navy and many more. After a swift break, they congregated in the schools theatre for a set of talks led by STEM experts, including author and CBBC TV presenter Stefan Gates. The year 10’s started the morning by going to two extended talks, chosen from a list of six speakers. They then had a chance to attend three interactive seminars they were most interested in, from a choice of 30 different subjects closest to their hearts.
After lunch many of the pupils got a chance to explore the stalls around the STEMzone, where many different industries and universities were set up to inspire the pupils to see a vast range of STEM based companies, highlighting the variety and importance it has on the real world. The competition to see who could gather the most amount of freebies was also another incentive to make sure no stall was left unseen.
At the end of the afternoon, all pupils came together for a memorable performance by Helen Arney, TV science presenter, comedian and singer. They were also treated with an incredible statement my Major Tim Peake, who recently arrived home 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!”