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Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Day at De Montfort University

A small group of our young people met on a sunny but cold November day, looking fresh-faced and ready to immerse themselves in a day of university life and all things STEM related.

After a quick introductory lecture, the group set off to their first activity where they had to work together to design a robot-operated snow plough. They had to design the plough and program the robot to manoeuvre it around a map full of ‘snow’. Although the group didn’t come first in the “plough-off”, they worked very well together, coming up with a design, problem-solving together when the plough wouldn’t stick onto the robot and communicating well throughout the task.

The second session was another group activity involving forensic investigation. The group had to solve an escape room type task where they had to use a series of clues to break into a vault. This was a great opportunity for the group to think outside the box and use their problem-solving skills in a creative way. Afterwards there was some friendly competition where each group in the room tried to come out on top by answering a series of questions in a Kahoot! survey. Our team “The Forensic” were well ahead of the pack with a score of 3128 points which was a great morale boost after the earlier defeat in the snow plough challenge.

The third session was an interactive session delivered by the Sports Science team from Loughborough University. It taught the group about the different types of sports drinks, the benefits as well as how huge the market is. The group then had to invent their own unique sports energy drink, work out the amount of ingredients needed as well as their target audience and how they were going to market it. Although the resulting drink will need some fine-tuning before it can be sold to the mass market, the catchy name and slogan alone made this a winner in our eyes!

The day ended with a very interesting talk by the National Space Academy on the different routes into a career in space. It prompted lots of questions by the students and showed that it’s an accessible and open career for those that have an interest in aerospace and astronautics. After a feedback session, it was time to say our goodbyes. Tammy and Aby would like to thank our students for being a delight to accompany. We were so happy to see you all so inspired and engaged and want to wish you the best of luck with your studies.

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