King's Hall

Back in March, as part of our Full STEAM Ahead initiative, we made our way to King’s Hall in Stoke to engage with hundreds of students from schools across the area to inspire future scientists, engineers and creators.

We had a wide range of workshops on show from Makey Makey to spheros, giving learners the chance to try something different and look at STEAM subjects in a new light. The workshops also gave students the chance to put theory into practice, allowing them to build their understanding on topics such as friction and magnetic fields. One group even managed to explain to one of the team how friction was slowing down their hovercraft (yes, you read that right, hovercraft) and how they were trying to counteract it.

King’s Hall marked the second stop of our Full STEAM Ahead programme with Keele Hall being our pilot venue, thanks to the (continued) support of Higher Horizons+.

Every student we spoke to told us that they enjoyed the workshops and were enthusiastic about what they’d learnt. At King’s Hall, we even had one student tell us that they would try to set up a ‘Science Club’ at their school to carry on learning and experimenting.

Another student, who was taking part in Wavemaker’s ‘pipeline challenge’- a challenge where students had to use cardboard tubes to carry a small ball from one end to the other- said, ‘It’s kind of teaching you about everyday life… and water-pipes, how they always break and how they always need repairing.”

Hovercraft

We were fortunate enough to have the support and enthusiasm of Stoke City Council who are keen to encourage innovate and deep-thinking learners who are interested in pursuing STEAM in the future, and perhaps even going on to make their interests a career.

Councillor Jan Bridges, cabinet member of education and economy said, ‘The children can have hands on experience of science and stimulate their enthusiasm to look at science as a career.’

Councillor Ross Irving, former Lord Mayor Stoke-on-Trent, went on to say, ‘Stoke-on-Trent pupils from all over the city are visiting the King’s Hall, dealing with experiments and innovation. It’s a wonderful tribute to both the schools and the children and Wavemaker… to bring children down and really inspire them to look at different aspects of the future.’

Overall, the day was a huge success and we’re continued to be blown away by the positivity and ambition of the people of Stoke-on-Trent, and the support we’re shown by educational bodies and communities when it comes to showing kids just how amazing STEAM can be.

Mary Fletcher