Westholme STEM Challenge

Today we were delighted to host our annual Year 5 STEM Challenge Day with visiting schools from across Lancashire. After having to postpone, delay and reschedule, it was an absolute joy to have the junior students back in school for a day full of STEM based fun.

The day was one of healthy competition and teamwork as students competed in the subject areas of biology, physics, chemistry, product design and maths.

Students and staff were welcomed by Mr Hiller, Head of Science, and the teams were then sent to the designated departments to start the tasks.

Task 1: Chemistry was a truly mind-boggling ‘whodunit’ forensic science experiment as students had to identify the criminal after a body was found!

Task 2: Biology had six activities that asked students to identify bones, leaves and invertebrates, as well as studying photographs of organisms and cells and working out the magnification or type.

Task 3: Bridge building was done in engineering with nothing but wooden blocks to build a bridge. The pupils had to, through trial and error, test the theory of balancing objects on their centre of mass.

Task 4: Product design involved designing and constructing a boat from Styrofoam, dowels, Plasticine and card. The craft had to be buoyant and stable enough to float down a channel filled with water propelled by a fan. The speed and distance travelled was measured for each school.

Alongside their other tasks, students took park in a rigorous maths based crossword challenge.

The results were then calculated as all teams and supporting staff were invited back into the theatre to find out the winners of each task and the overall winning team.

We are happy to announce the winners of each category were:

  • Chemistry: Bolton School
  • Biology: St Pius X
  • Product Design: St Joseph’s Park Hill
  • Engineering: St Joseph’s Park Hill
  • Maths:  St Pius X, with a prize awarded to second place winners Lostock Primary School.

The overall first place winners were St Pius X Catholic Preparatory School, with second place going to Lostock Primary School, and joint third going to Coupe Green Primary School, St Paul’s Feniscowles and St Joseph’s Park Hill.

It was a truly wonderful day and we’re incredibly grateful to all of the students who took part. Well done, everyone!