Years 4 and 6 STEM ambassador webinar
My job as an ecologist
Year 4 and Year 6 were able to have a conversation with an ecologist on Tuesday. She was a consultant ecologist who worked on counting newts and even on the Olympic Park in East London! She explained that ecologists were people who were experts in the relationship between different organisms, such as between humans and certain animals. She told them that they could go to university to become an ecologist or they could do an apprenticeship.
Galliard were able to ask her a couple of questions about what inspired her to become an ecologist and which job she would have done otherwise. She said that she enjoyed working with animals and getting to help them. She also said she’d want to be an archaeologist if she couldn’t be an ecologist because she also enjoyed history. She loved ecology because she got to visit many different and exciting places to do her work.
Thank you to STEM Learning https://www.stem.org.uk/stem-ambassadors
Year 3 STEM ambassador webinar
My job as an architect
Today some of the children took part in a STEM ambassador webinar where an architect, Morven, spoke about her job and what it’s like to design and make buildings.
The children learnt about the different types of architects:
- Commercial architects (design shops and hospitals etc)
- Residential architects (design houses, bungalows and mansions etc)
- Landscape architects (design parks and golf courses etc)
- Conservation architects (design churches, castles and palaces etc)
Morven explained the important parts of the job including:
- Making buildings strong
- Thinking of the environment
- Being organised and on time
- Checking the building is safe and easy to use
She also explained the stages that architects go through when designing and making a building:
- Look at where the building is going to be
- Collect people’s thoughts
- Designing (draw the building)
- Decide which rooms will go where
- Decide what materials will be used and what colours the buildings will be etc
- Make the building
- Handover to the person who wanted the building and they check it
- People use it!
Morven showed the children some drawings and plans that were used to build a new school in Scotland which cost 14.5 million pounds to build! Some of the children then looked at this school using Google Earth.
Here are some of the questions that the children asked:
Who inspired you to become an architect?
“My teacher in high school who taught graphic communication where we did technical drawings. He said some of the most interesting things I’ve heard.”
What is your favourite part of the job?
“Seeing the building when it’s done – especially things that took a lot of thinking about – it could be as simple as a door handle or a ceiling.
What was the first thing you made?
“My first project was a small café but it didn’t stay on the ground so it could lifted up and moved around to different tourist locations – it could be folded and transported.”
The children really enjoyed finding out about this career path and it has made them think about their own future careers!
“I found it really inspiring when she spoke about how nice her job was designing buildings and I think I want to be an architect one day myself.” Amaiyah-Lily 5M
“I liked looking at the digital plans of the school that she designed and made.” Abbas, 5M
“I liked the part when she showed us how she planned the school, it sounds like a fun job getting to plan buildings and then see people make them for you.” Tamirah 5M
Thank you to STEM Learning
Year 5 STEM ambassador webinar
Year 5 took part in a live STEM webinar where they spoke to a structural engineer (Aleks Stamenkovic). The children learnt about some of the projects that Aleks had been part of and the process engineers need to go through when designing and making buildings.
They learnt that the foundations of a building holds the building down and they need to spread the weight to ensure that it doesn't sink into the ground. They also learnt that engineers are using more recyclable materials when making bridges to make them more environmentally friendly.
The children asked some interesting questions:
What is your favourite part of your job?
"It's great to see something coming from your computer being built in real life."
How did you become an engineer and how long was your training?
"There are lots of different routes you can take. After secondary school, I went to university for four years and then joined a company. You can also do an apprenticeship where you study while you are working."
What are the most interesting things that you've worked on?
"My company have done work at the Houses of Parliament and Gatwick airport."
Who inspired you to become an engineer?
"Ove Arup who is an engineer who designed the Sydney Opera House. He decided that all the engineers and architects should work together."
Thank you to STEM Learning
“Aleks really inspired me and I want to be an engineer now!" Jannat, 5S
Academic Year 2022/2023
STEM webinar - Year 6
Linking with their Light topic, Year 6 took part in an interesting webinar with astronomer Dr Sheila Kanani. She talked about her career in astrophysics and what inspired her to become an astronomer. The children took part in an optical illusion quiz and also learnt many interesting facts including:
- Chameleons change colour according to their mood
- Hippos sweat a red secretion which acts like suncream
- Blue whales are the biggest known creature to ever live
Dr Sheila Kanani also spoke about career opportunities in space (e.g. astronomer, astrobiologist, satellite engineer, space journalist and many more) and she introduced the children to her new book "Can you get rainbows in space?" to which the answer is YES!
Year 6 STEM ambassador webinar
Year 6 took part in a live STEM webinar where they spoke to a digital engineer in construction (Kai Nelson). The children learnt about some of the projects that Kai had been part of and also asked some interesting questions:
What's been your favourite project that you have worked on? (Yanis in 6W)
"My favourite project has been the Stratford Waterfront project where I worked on the London College of Fashion building. It was a 14 story building which had some amazing staircases that look like they float in the air. I love engineering and it always amazes me what you can do with simple materials."
How do you know that the projects are safe? (Arif in 6W)
"This is a good question as it is a very current topic. There is a lot of legislation and lots of laws made by the government which we need to follow. There are specialist design codes made by specialists that we need to follow depending on the type of building and its function. For example, the width of the stair and the height of the stair has to be a certain amount and the steps all need to be a certain height so that people don't fall over when using them. At certain stages during the design process, someone will run a meeting and the safety measures will be reviewed. After everything has been checked, it will get built and the contractor is responsible for making sure it has been built safely and there are no errors. There will be final checks before it is open to the public. There are lots of changes going on at the moment to make sure that everyone is sure that what is being built is safe and fit for purpose."
Which subject do you think is most important for your job?
"Negotioting and understanding other peoples' points of view. If you want to get into engineering, you also need to understand the maths. Don't worry if you are not good at maths, it's about practising and nurturing those natural abilities that you have. The more you practise maths and the more you engage with it, the better you will get so never give up!"
Thank you to STEM Learning
Year 5 STEM webinar
This week year 5 took part in a STEM webinar where they met a scientist, Zosha, who works for the Royal Institution and has been carrying out research on exoplanets (planets that are beyond our solar system). The children found out many fascinating facts including...
- Telescopes such as the James Webb telescope are used to find out more about exoplanets.
- A telescope called Ariel will launch in 2029. It is 3-4 meters long and uses a mirror to collect the light.
- A new exoplanet, 55 Cancri E, has a surface which scientists believe is covered in lava - it is so hot that some of its surface is turning into a gas.
- Venus spins backwards - it is believed that this is because an asteroid (space rock) knocked into the planet, changing its direction.
- Our moon is moving away from Earth (a few centimeters each year).
The children also asked some interesting questions which sparked some great discussions:
- How does a telescope work?
- What would happen if there was no gravity?
- If we had to evacuate Earth, which planet is the most habitable? (Zosha explained that we would need to take lots of technology with us to warm up Mars! Or maybe an exoplanet would be more suitable which they are starting to find out more about through research)
"I learnt lots of new and interesting facts about exoplanets far away - the surface of one was made of lava and magma. I went on the internet to search things about space after." Daniel 5T
"One of the scientist's favourite planets was 55 Cancri E - it made me want to find out more about it like how big it is and what are the chances it will become extinct." Jochebed 5T
"I never knew there were so many different gases in space!" Khadijah 5P
"I asked if the purple star was actually the Violet Sun. I like watching lots of documentaries about space and that's how I know about this." Daniel 5P
"I didn't know that Neptune rained diamonds!" Precious 5B
As you can see, the children were fascinated by the interesting facts that were shared and it has inspired some of them to take their learning further and find out more!
Thank you to STEM Learning
Year 3 STEM webinar
In science, Year 3 have been learning about how our skeletons and muscles help us to move. On Wednesday, they took part in a live webinar and met a PhD student studying biomechanics who spoke about the research she has been carrying out on prosthetic limbs. The children asked some very interesting questions and found out lots of fascinating facts...
- A program called Motion Capture is used to make prosthetic limbs - this measures and tracks how someone moves. It is also sometimes used in films to make animated characters move.
- Upper limbs can have prosthetics which can be linked to your brain and you can control these using your brain
- You can get prosthetic limbs that can be directly connected to your skeleton
- Scientists are researching adjustable sockets for prosthetic limbs to suit a child who is growing
"I asked if there was any such thing as a prosthetic ear and if you could put an earring in it. Alice said there is a prosthetic ear but you can't put an earring in it because it is made from a hard material." Zakariyya 3B
"I found it fascinating that when you want to move, the prosthetic arm can connect to your brain. I want to know how this can happen." De-Sean 3B
"My favourite part was when I found out that the prosthetic legs are made from a different material so the people can swim." Rahnie 3B
Alice encouraged the children to be curious about STEM and find out about the world around them as there are many interesting STEM jobs which they may not even know exist yet!
Thank you to STEM Learning