This week we hosted an internal STEM day for 60 of our Year 9 students; the Small piece trust came in to encourage and inspire the young potential engineers in year 9. This was such an excellent opportunity for our students and allowed them to step out of their comfort zones to explore and develop a passion within engineering.

The first task the students were given was hands on right off the bat; the students were given paper and a weight, they needed to build the tallest and strongest structure capable of standing with the weight on the top. Towards the end stages of this task it became very close between two teams but the winning team managed to build a structure standing at 43 Inches high.

On the main task for the day the students were tasked with designing and constructing a speaker that can amplify sound produced by a mobile phone or MP3 player. In teams, the students learned about the individual components required and had to solder these components onto an amplifier circuit board. They also had to design a case to house the components of the speaker. They could be as creative as they like but had to consider their target audience for the resell of the product as well as how to retain a good level of sound quality.

At the end of the day each team had to present their speakers to the rest of the students involved. There were many good designs and speakers created but it eventually came down to make a judgement on which team had the best overall product and while one speaker in particular was excellently designed by one team another team had an excellent presentation and displayed good marketing skills. In the end it was decided that we could not crown just one winner but two teams were selected as the winners.

As the winners each member of the teams were given a mysterious disc shaped item that with a little investigation of its engineering properties the students discovered that these discs contained a new set of earphones.

The students had a great day and showed themselves and the academy in a positive light with their enthusiasm and engagement in the tasks and the positive conversations had with our event supervisor from the Smallpiece trust.