Turbines in a spin at Cordeaux ‘STEM’ day

Daniel Allen, Ben Payne and Lewys Whitfield with their homemade turbine, alongside Michelle James and Laura Peach.
Daniel Allen, Ben Payne and Lewys Whitfield with their homemade turbine, alongside Michelle James and Laura Peach.

Young students in Louth have put their engineering minds to the test as part of an exciting ‘STEM’ event day at Cordeaux.

Around 60 pupils, from Years Seven and Eight, spent last Wednesday morning learning all about the pros and cons of renewable and non-renewable energies before getting down to work and building their very own ‘wind turbines’.

The activities were all part of a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) day, hosted by the Engineering Development Trust (EDT), a STEM co-ordinator, and government-funded ‘STEM ambassadors’ who work in relevant industries.

EDT education officer Michelle James and STEM 
co-ordinator Laura Peach said the scheme aimed to encourage youngsters to consider these industries as possible career options, dispel the myth that engineering is only about fixing cars, and break down the stereotype that 
engineering is only ‘for boys’.

Ms James said: “The day aimed to spark the pupils’ imagination and let them know that there is a subject out there that we need lots of people to fill. Actually, it’s absolutely everything man-made that engineers work on.”

“The pupils have been really enthused and excited. They’re all really into it!”

Ms Peach said: “The teachers’ support has been amazing, which has really helped too.”

She added: “We’re going to have a 2 million job shortage in engineering by 2020, so that’s the problem that the UK economy is facing.”

The Leader spoke to some of the pupils involved in creating their own wind turbines, who all said they had really enjoyed the challenge.

After constructing their turbines, containing a small generator, each group had to use an electric fan to create ‘wind’ and see how many volts their turbine could create.

Daniel Allen, Ben Payne and Lewys Whitfield said: “We had the highest score on the voltmeter before break, with a reading of 3.88 volts, but the current winning team 
now has got over four volts.

“We have enjoyed the day and liked doing the project.”

• If you work in an industry involving science, technology, engineering or maths, and are interested in becoming a ‘STEM ambassador’, then contact Laura via email at: laura.peach@leics-ebc.org.uk