31 May 2019

STEAM Week 2019

Our inaugural STEAM Week at Island School has been a great success with Year 7, 8 and 9 students enjoying a range of inter-House challenges that celebrate the ingenuity and creativity of STEM and Art subjects.  Thank you very much to all the teachers and support staff who helped set up and run the events.

The Food Technology challenges at both sites were very popular. Teacher Chemistry Ms Lorraine Harte coordinated two “Kitchen Chemistry” Workshops (more details below).  Sticking with the food theme, Maths hosted a Pringle Ringle Challenge. Teams of students competed to build a complete circle of Pringles. This is called a Pringle Ringle. No glue was allowed. They had to use their physics and engineering skills to overcome the main obstacle, gravity!

While Physics investigated masses on springs as timers. Biology held the ‘Key to Success’ workshop as students derived species identification keys.  Film Studies ran a ‘Movie Maker Mashup’, while Chemistry hosted a spaghetti and marshmallow tower challenge.

DT teachers tested the robotics coding skills of Year 7 and 8 students.  Year 9 students were involved in the ‘Next Top Scientist’ challenge in their science lessons.  Also on the Tai Wai campus was an Engineering challenge, where students were tasked with using the concept of a “Maker” mindset, which involves problem solving through trial and error, to launch a spinner.  The scoring process was reflected in how well their launchers worked and which group’s spinner span the longest.

Kitchen Chemistry

Year 7 and Year 9 students attended a ‘Kitchen Chemistry’ workshop where they were amazed to see how materials often found at home can be used to demonstrate how science works. Dr. Stephen Ashworth from the University of East Anglia in the UK wowed the students with some spectacular experiments such as colour changes of acids and alkalis, decomposition reactions that produced gases, and the highlight of the workshop, the ‘Whoosh Bottle’ demonstration!

How Stuff Works Elements: Plastics to Oil through Pyrolysis

As an on-going project, the Island School Design Tech department has been building a set of machines that shred, melt and inject single use plastics into student designed moulds of new products, adding value to what is normally deemed waste materials.  In STEAM week, the course took a more scientific approach to dealing with hard to recycle/contaminated plastics and used Pyrolysis to break down the bonds of the plastic and convert back into Oil and Gas.  Link here to the Instgram page

The challenge results are still coming in and the overall winning House will be announced at the end of year assembly.

Report by Paul Bayne, Head of Science

See more photos from the week here.