STEAM

What is STEAM?

STEAM integrates Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math as pathways to guide student inquiry, discussions, and critical thinking. Education experts say STEAM education helps students develop the capacity to: Take thoughtful risks; Engage in meaningful learning activities; Become resilient problem solvers; Embrace and appreciate collaboration; Work through the creative process

At Ormiston Rivers Academy we value the opportunities that exposure to STEAM related activities offer our students and actively promote STEAM pathways. Mrs Gibson is our STEM coordinator.

Currently, we run a STEAM club for all years in which students have the opportunity to explore all areas of STEAM education as well as being exposed to guest speakers and industry activities. This is held every Wednesday after school; we have a multitude of resources for students to use such as Micro Bits, Raspberry Pi's, Mindstorm Lego, a 3D printer and access to the DT dept to enable students to produce projects for competitions or to simply bring an idea of their own to life, In addition to this clubs run for Year 7 in Science and in Computing, and Science booster activities are run for Year 10.

Recent STEAM Events at ORA

Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge 2021

As part of Computer Science our Year 7, 8 and 9 students took part in the Bebras Challenge as well as Year 10 GCSE Computer Science students, it was also offered to Year 12 as part of their enrichment . Students undertook the challenge in early November in a classroom setting. The challenge, which is run by Oxford University in conjunction with the Raspberry Pi Foundation, introduces computational thinking to students to help with problem solving and is organised in over 50 countries. It is designed to get students all over the world excited about Computing. This year over 300,000 students took part nationally with more than 2.5 million students participating worldwide. Our students performed fantastically with a massive 31 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, this takes place in February and will receive a Gold certificate. All Students will receive Distinction/Merit or Participation Certificates - Distinction = top 25% of the school, Merit = top 50%.

STEAM CLUB- some activities:

OAT STEMFEST competition - 2022

This year we are hoping to enter 2 ideas, it has been difficult with absences etc but students have persevered. Students have been tasked to develop and present solutions to real world social action problems, using STEAM. 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. Winners to be announced by mid April.

Fresh Air Project:

This is a competition that is run by the CSES ( Chelmsford Science and Engineering Society) through the Anglia Ruskin University in Chelmsford.

The aim of the project is to encourage young people to develop active enquiry skills, become more aware of the world in which they live and help them understand our world’s major challenges of pollution and climate change. Students will be encouraged to develop their own project ideas and, on completion, present their work to their peers both locally and at collective events arranged by CSES. For this, students will document their work in an interactive manner, for example with videos, presentations, posters or blogs / vlogs. This truly embraces the principles of STEAM and provides an integrated creative, digital and scientific experience. Prizes in various categories will be awarded at the end of the year!

TeenTech Award 2021-22

Students have been tasked to research, develop and present solutions to real world social problems, with the tag line: Could you make life better, simpler, safer or more fun? This can be literally about anything, as long as it improves everyday life in some way. Students can work in teams with up to 3 participants- Deadline is March 2022. ORA was awarded the Silver Centre for Innovation and Creativity award by TeenTech in early 2021

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 - 2021

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.