12th February 2018

STEM day inspires Devon students to consider a career in engineering

Pupils at South Dartmoor Academy were challenged to put their skills to the test during a special activity day designed to stimulate their interest in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Twenty-five Year 8 students took part in the event hosted by The Smallpeice Trust and South West Water, as part of an ongoing partnership to inspire the next generation to consider a career in STEM.

Students were encouraged to think about genuine workplace challenges through completing tasks such as creating an electronic moisture detector. Teams considered design effectiveness, budgeting, marketing, teamwork, and time management as they competed to come up with the best design.

Peter Hart, Programme Performance Manager at South West Water, said: “The day offered the students a unique opportunity to explore STEM and we saw strong potential amongst the group. When we asked the students how the STEM day could be improved in the future, many suggested a STEM week!

“South West Water strives to invest in the next generation, from visiting schools with our STEM Ambassadors through to our award-winning apprenticeship programme, so we’re thrilled it was a success.”

Don Phipps, Design and Technology Team Leader at South Dartmoor Academy, said: “All the students thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I’d like to share some of the student’s feedback: doing something different, working together in teams and making a working model helped me appreciate real-life engineering problems.

“Others said that the experience made them think about what they would like to do in the future and that getting help from the South West Water STEM ambassadors was great fun.”

Impressively, 96 per cent of the students reported that the day made them think about a career in engineering, and all said they now have a better understanding of what engineers do.

A similar event was also a success at Dawlish Community College in October, attended by fifty-nine year eight students, thirty-five of which were girls.

South West Water has sponsored The Smallpeice Trust’s aim to inspire the next generation with STEM for the last five years, and aims to run more STEM days with local schools in the future.

For further information please contact:

South West Water
Published: 12 February 2018