Posted: Wed 13th Jul 2022

University trip inspires talented Holywell students to study science

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Jul 13th, 2022

A group of More Able and Talented (MAT) year 10 Ysgol Treffynnon students participated in a range of activities at a local university’s science event.

The aim of the visit to Glyndwr University was to inspire students to consider a career in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

After a tour of the university and an insight into university life, the students were put into groups to have a go at hands on practical activities while learning about inspiring uses and applications of STEM to solve everyday challenges or innovations.

The ‘Xplore – Motion and Forces’ session required students to use their prior knowledge gained from physics lessons about Newton’s Laws and apply this to practical applications, which included building and testing their own models of a seismometer and a Gauss cannon, a device that demonstrates the magnetic effect used by magnetic accelerator cannons.

In the ‘Sugar Brick Laying’ session, students used sugar cubes as a model to show the architectural designs within civil engineering. 

Another workshop, ‘Less Common Metals – Mine to Magnet,’ looked at rare earth magnets – the strongest type of permanent magnets that are made from alloys of rare-earth elements. 

This sort of magnet is used in every day modern life from motors and generators in wind turbines, to smart phones.  

The students considered the possible future application of such magnets and the implications of their use such as the environmental impact and the current reliance on exports from China, as well as ways in which they can be sourced more sustainably and locally. 

Feedback from the students has been very positive:

Ayanda said: “I enjoyed my tour through the university, the aesthetics of it was beautiful.  I also enjoyed the different activities and the knowledge gained from them. My favourite session was the one about different architecture.” 

Rhianna said: “During the trip I mostly enjoyed the hands-on forces and motion demonstrations.  I also enjoyed hearing about the courses offered at the university.” 

Shane said his favourite part of the trip was the magnets session as ‘it was the perfect balance of educational and fun.’ 

Mason said: “One of my favourite parts of the STEM trip was learning about forces and motion. I enjoyed hands on experience within the subject. I also enjoyed exploring the university campus and seeing what university has to offer.”

Steve Holmes, head of science and technology faculty, said: “The students thoroughly enjoyed the STEM event at Glyndwr University.  They really engaged with all the activities, and it was great to see their enthusiasm and fascination for the subject.  The tour of the university helped to give them a good idea of life as a student, and I think they all found it very informative and helpful.  They are a fantastic group of students and I have no doubt that they all have bright futures ahead.” 

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