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Mind the Gap. STEM Challenge Days. Mind the Gap… Project outline. The project is based on a “Structures” Challenge. The focus is about an awareness of STEM.. All the constituent parts working together. The challenge is student focussed… working in teams to

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mind the gap

Mind the Gap

STEM Challenge Days

mind the gap project outline
Mind the Gap… Project outline
  • The project is based on a “Structures” Challenge.
  • The focus is about an awareness of STEM.. All the constituent parts working together.
  • The challenge is student focussed… working in teams to
    • Design and build a structure to span a gap.
    • Perform a research and investigation task.
    • Produce and deliver a presentation.
  • Not a competition… but recognition will be given for commitment, quality of work, originality, etc
student focussed
Student Focussed
  • The Challenge is intended to be student focussed.
  • Students to take the lead in tackling the project… in negotiation with the teachers and ambassadors.
  • Teachers and ambassadors to act as mentors to the teams…. Support and guide rather than directing.
  • Students should work as teams…. Emphasis on PLTS
  • Each teacher/ambassador pair will mentor a group of up to four teams of five students.
  • Teams should organise themselves… shared responsibility! Based upon the PLTS roles.
    • Facilitator,
    • Time Keeper,
    • Resource Manager,
    • Quality Checker,
    • Team Rep.
tasks design and build
Tasks – design and Build
  • The design and build task requires students to build a model bridge to span a 1m gap (the Clifton Gorge)
  • The bridge will be judged successful if it has…
    • Good strength to weight ratio.
    • Good strength to cost ratio.
  • Students may need to be encouraged to DESIGN before making…
    • Produce a specification.
    • investigate alternative ideas before producing a solution.
    • test materials and construction methods
tasks research task
Tasks – Research Task
  • The research task is selected by the teams … in negotiation with teachers/ambassadors.
  • The research task is intended to support the Design/Make task and will form the core of the Presentation Task.
  • The task needs to be…
    • Useful
    • Rigorous
    • As original as possible
    • More than Google… include hypothesis, testing, results, findings, etc.
tasks presentation
Tasks - presentation
  • The presentations will be made to the other teams in the group.
  • Teams will have 4 minutes of actual presentation time on the second day.
  • Presentations need to be “professional” with all students taking part in some way.
  • Presentations can take any form (by negotiation)
  • A PowerPoint/keynote supported talk
  • Posters, leaflets, “publications”.
  • Originality to be supported (song/rap/performance)
ambassadors business and industry
Ambassadors – business and industry
  • 16 volunteers (14 from companies + 2 parents)
  • Companies represented
    • Mott MacDonald (Bristol and Cardiff)
    • MOD
    • Bristol University
    • Saint Gobain
    • EDF Energy
    • TSB (Clevedon)
    • Atkins Global?
    • Support also from Roland DG & 3D Systems
  • Main task is to assist with mentoring the teams and provide expertise in their field.
  • Also providing mini workshops at various times.
ambassadors students
Ambassadors – students
  • Team of 5 students
    • Ellie Stanfield
    • Anna Parry
    • Rosie Gathercole
    • Lewis Smallwood
    • Cody Isaac
  • Will be responsible for running the “Bank of STEM” / Shop
  • Will maintain a “leader board”
  • Will assist with social media. (and gather content)
  • Will act as “gofers”… runners.
mini workshops
Mini workshops
  • These will be presented by the Ambassadors.
  • Attended by team reps (if required)
  • Take place in the Atrium and/or break out area (sports hall)
  • Timings
    • Day1 10:10 – (mini workshop 1 Top tips for quality presentations)
    • Day 1 11:10 (mini workshop 2 Strong structures)
    • Day1 12.00 (mini workshop 3 Being an engineer)
    • Day1 13:50 (mini workshop 4 safe structures)
    • Day2 09:15 (financing structures)… advice on VAT etc
    • Day2 10:00 (mini workshop 5 Quality presentations 2)
  • Other Mini workshops may take place on suggestion of Ambassadors and/or request from Teachers.
social media
Social media
  • We have a Blog and Twitter…
  • Blog clevedonstem.wordpress.com
  • Twitter @ClevedonSTEMhashtags #STEM and #ClevedonSTEM.

The blog to provide

Resource bank

Diary of the challenge

Twitter provides

automatic tweets from the blog


  • Who can blog/tweet?

Everyone!!! … send photos/videos text to DW/Student ambassadors

Ask for membership and author role (before the event!)

Student ambassadors.

resources physical
Resources - Physical
  • Team packs containing
    • Student information booklet
    • Student work booklet (for planning)
    • Starter kit of building materials
  • The “gap” … mat and supports.
  • Ambassadors.
  • Each other…. !
resources electronic
Resources - electronic
  • Teacher toolkit
    • Teaching/intervention materials
    • Inspirational videos
    • Results spreadsheet
    • Copy of the student invoice
    • Timings PowerPoint
  • Blog and twitter feed
  • Extension Task…. In the unlikely event of students running out of work (design & build a high/strong structure)
  • Planning…. Encourage students to try out and plan before “rushing into it”
  • Quality…. Neatness and quality of construction ensures a stronger outcome.
  • Do not allow students to use excessive materials… winding a bunch of straws in tape will be strong but the students will learn/achieve nothing.
  • Give it a go yourselves…..