We value the opportunities that exposure to STEM related activities offer our students and actively promote STEM pathways.  Miss Debbie Gibson is our STEM coordinator.  

Currently, we run a STEM club for Year 9 in which students have the opportunity to explore all areas of STEM education as well as being exposed to guest speakers and industry activities.  At the moment Covid restrictions have limited the provision of this club to one year group but from September 2021 we hope to offer this provision across the year groups, along with additional technology-based offerings once facilities can be used by different year groups.  In addition to this clubs run for Year 7 in Science and in Computing, and Science booster activities are run for Year 10.

Recent STEM Events at ORA

Boeing UK Engineering Outreach Session 

On the 18th March thirty year 9 students were invited to take part in a live Boeing event, these students were selected as they are either; part of STEM club, top 10% achievers in the Bebras challenge and/or have a noticeable interest in Engineering. 9 junior engineers at Boeing UK talked about their roles within the company with students taking part in an Q & A session about what they think engineering is and examples of it in everyday life. Students were then given some tips on aerodynamics followed by a challenge: Create a paper aeroplane using basic materials that can travel the furthest and carry a 10p coin. Consideration needed to be given to the amount of materials used to highlight cost and sustainability to the students. Everyone engaged well and soon we had aeroplanes of various sizes and designs flying around the room, after about 40 mins of design and modifications, the students in their teams had a “fly off”. The longest flight distance measured in at 11.3 metres, closely followed by a distance of 10.6m which was impressive! A follow up session the following week enabled the Boeing engineers and the teams to discuss thoughts behind the designs and what they would do differently. Students were also shown a possible career path concentrating on STEM subjects. 

OAT STEMFEST competition

 We have entered 2 teams into the Ormiston Academy STEMFEST competition – the students have been tasked to develop and present solutions to real world social action problems, using STEM. The competition will include a regional heat with medals for third, second and first place and national finals, where teams can win £20 amazon vouchers each and £250 for their academy’s science department. I am so proud of the students who have entered their ideas- they have worked on these remotely and have shown true ORA resilience! Winners to be announced by mid April.

Matholympics Challenge 

Over the last couple of months, a team based challenge has been taking place across the Ormiston Academies called the Matholympics. The competition was open to all of the Academies within the trust, which is over 40 schools, and there were a total of 358 submissions to enter the competition! A fantastic team of our Ormiston Rivers Academy students, in year 9, entered the competition and made it all the way to the final. Imogen Turner, Jacob Henman, Rhianna Richardson, Anthony Robson and Thomas Bradley are the members of the ‘River Rockets’. This fantastic group of students have made an exceptional effort to practice their skills and work on their team work to complete three challenges which brought them into the final. Although we have been in lockdown, this has not stopped them from practicing and working together. They have been meeting regularly on google meets to practice for their competition and the final will take place on the 21st May via Teams. Special mention must go to Imogen for outstanding contribution.

Bebras Competiton

As part of Computer Science our Year7, 8 and 9 students took part in the Bebras Competition. Led by Mrs Gibson, students undertook the challenge in early November. The Bebras competition is run by Oxford University, in conjunction with the Raspberry Pi Foundation. The Bebras Computing Challenge introduces computational thinking to students and is organised in over 50 countries. It is designed to get students all over the world excited about Computing. Our students performed fantastically with 17 students achieving scores in the top 10% in the UK. These students will now be offered the chance to take part in a further challenge set up and run by Oxford University.