STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering and Math
The teachers at St James’s that work within the STEM subjects, passionately believe they teach the most exciting subjects in school!
STEM skills enable our young people to more than just prepare for the future; we believe the skills taught will help them shape the future! STEM skills are taught within our curriculum, and are further enriched through the many STEM clubs that are available to students at St James’s.
STEM subjects develop the following skills:
- Numerical skills
- Critical thinking
- Logical thought
- Investigative skills
- Scientific research
- Creativity and innovation
- Communication skills
STEM education is part of our curriculum. All students of St James’s will be promised an excited and fruitful STEM experience as part of our broad and balanced curriculum.
Each STEM subject will provide the following exciting experience for each student of St James’s:
- Taught to use Bunsen Burners and other laboratory equipment to conduct a range of exciting investigations
- Gain knowledge and skills each lesson that directly linked to a wide range of STEM careers
- Develop critical thinking that allows them to understand and process data in many different contexts
- Take part in the Bottle Rocket Challenge using their understanding of forces and energy
- Construct floating gardens that utilise their knowledge of plants, ecosystems and climate change
- All students will learn how to use industry standard 3D CAD (computer aided design) in the form of Autodesk Fusion 360
- Everyone will 3D print parts and products they design using CAD software
- Traditional manufacturing skills are taught so that students gain an understanding of material properties
- Tradition manufacturing skills are combined with the use of CAD and laser cutting so that modern approaches to manufacturing are understood and experienced by all
- Every student will be involved in the F1 in Schools Engineering challenge. This fantastic opportunity is a global STEM competition and will be delivered in lessons by the Design and technology department with further input from all STEM teacher as required. Race teams will design and make an F1 style car using Autodesk Fusion 360 and 3D printers. This amazing opportunity gives students an insight into how all STEM subjects work together! (See the link for more information)
- All students will build (and sit on) a Da Vinci bridge
- The mathematics that students learn in school includes content and thinking that can be used as tools for tackling STEM problems
- As students develop their ability to pattern spot; flexibility with number; understanding of shape and measure; and proficiency with mathematical modelling they will be able to apply their knowledge and skills to problems in other contexts and notice links across the STEM subjects
- There will be opportunities across the year to take part in a variety of enrichment opportunities in partnership with the AMSP, MEI and NRich including learning about how Maths is used in different careers.
- Every student in year 7 will learn to program BBC Micro:Bits using block-based coding. This will give students the opportunity to use physical computing devices that links into electronics.
- Every student in year 8 will program in a structured text based environment called Small Basic. This will be their introduction to text based programming that feeds directly into Visual Basic / C # and Python, this is our GCSE Computer Science programming language of choice.
- All students in year 8 will be taught about the importance of algorithms for society. Students will focus on traditional algorithms within Computing but also how algorithms can be applied within practical situations such as Chess, Tic Tac Toe and Sudoku.
STEM in action
Variants in the Science Department
Due to an unfortunate accident involving the multiverse, the science department was overrun with “variants” for British Science Week. These variants looked identical to the usual teachers but were in fact imposters from another timeline.
To help find the frauds, we enlisted a talented group of scientists from Year 7 and 8 to take part in experiments with each of the teachers. Their mission... to spot any mistakes that would give the variants away.
They took part in experiments including:
- Flame tests, where the teacher didn’t seem to know their colours.
- Electrolysis, where the teacher couldn’t tell them what metal they were making.
- Setting a teacher’s hands on fire, which was done, remarkably, by a real member of staff.
- Pop tests, where the teacher thought hydrogen was safe to use at kid's parties.
- A hair-raising experience on the Van de Graff generator.
Thankfully, due to our intrepid investigator’s efforts, the variants have been sent back to their home universes and