Science is so much fun for Peterlee pupils

The Dene Community School aerodynamics team.
The Dene Community School aerodynamics team.

Science can be so spectacular and hundreds of children got to find out for themselves.

Students from Dene Community School, in Peterlee, along with children from 12 primary schools in the area, were treated to the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) extravaganza.

Ellen Dowse and Charlie Payne at the Dene event.

Ellen Dowse and Charlie Payne at the Dene event.

It saw children have a go at building solar powered cars, visit a planetarium and learn how to survive an apocalypse.

The event, which was held in Dene Community school for a week, saw experts from around the region deliver fun and practical lessons on a range of subjects.

They included representatives of EDF Energy who helped the children design and build their own pylon,

Scientist Peter Hoare performed ‘Chemistry in your shopping basket’ while geologist and STEM ambassador Ross Wilkinson brought in skeletons and did a session on Antarctica,

The aim was to inspire the students in science, technology, engineering and maths, and for them to see that it is fun, so that one day they may think about careers in that area

Carolann McKay, head of science at Dene Community School

Zombie scientist Professor Howe, from Glasgow University, created plans on how to survive an apocalypse in a popular show which he performs all over the country,

Rolls Royce engineer Ray Christie held sessions on aerodynamics while representatives from the Centre for Life, in Newcastle, brought along a planetarium and adaptation show,

Northumbria University lecturer Anne Willis held a workshop called Beer Goggles to show the affects that drugs and alcohol have on the body,

Children built vehicles such as solar-powered cars and Paddy Ross held a ‘Life is an Illusion’ workshop which explored the science of psychology.

Kian Griffin, Jack Smith, Aaron Tunstall, Hayden Lancaster

Kian Griffin, Jack Smith, Aaron Tunstall, Hayden Lancaster

Andrew Ingram ran an interactive IT workshop looking at data roaming, and the science department even dressed up as mad scientists and performed a ‘very explosive’ chemistry show for the primary students,

Staff at Dene Community also got involved and ran STEM sessions throughout the week.

Head of science at Dene Community School, Carolann McKay, said: “This is the second year that we have put on the STEM week, and once again it’s gone down a storm.

“Our students were taken off timetable for a week to take part in a whole range of different sessions.

Head of science Carolann McKay (left) with year 9 students outside of the planetarium.

Head of science Carolann McKay (left) with year 9 students outside of the planetarium.

“The aim was to inspire the students in science, technology, engineering and maths, and for them to see that it is fun, so that one day they may think about careers in that area.

“We want them to broaden their horizons and see that STEM careers are very good careers with so many different sectors for them to go into.”

Headteacher Kelvin Simpson added: “When children are inspired they want to learn.

“The school aspirations week with a focus on STEM is designed to enable every child to become aware of the opportunities available to them through experts and inspirational activities.”

Students were also treated to several outings as part of the STEM week, with some year nine students jetting off to Barcelona for a geography trip, while others visited universities across the region.

Hannah Douthwaite, Emma Burkwood, and Millie Iceton..

Hannah Douthwaite, Emma Burkwood, and Millie Iceton..

Flying high!

Flying high!