Forest students pour their skills into water engineering challenge

Year 9 pupils at The Forest School had their science and engineering skills put to the test when they were faced with a real-life water efficiency project as part of a recent STEM day.

Forest is one of eight schools to have taken part in a unique educational experience designed to develop pupil’s skills in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) and to enhance their understanding of how important these skills are in tackling issues such as global warming, clean water and sanitation.

Sponsored by Southern Water and run by educational charity The Smallpeice Trust, the boys were tasked with designing and constructing a reservoir to store rainwater. They then had to connect a pump to transfer water from the reservoir into a secondary reservoir in the village. They were also challenged to build a free standing wind turbine that is cost effective to construct and that generates as much energy as possible to power the village.

Chief Executive of The Smallpeice Trust, Dr Andrew Cave said: “We are most grateful to Southern Water for sponsoring these educational STEM enrichment days. Engineers are key to tackling our biggest global challenges such as climate change and clean water supply.  These STEM days provide pupils with a unique insight into the role they could play in this challenge.”

The winning structures were judged on effectiveness, build cost, team working and stability. Pupils also developed their skills in financial management, problem solving, communication and creativity as they went about the tasks.

Dr Cave added: “It was a great day for our gifted and talented pupils; it really challenged them to engage their knowledge and to develop their skills across the STEM subjects.

“Days such as this are a great way of putting learning into a real life context; we are grateful to Southern Water and The Smallpeice Trust for offering our pupils this opportunity.”

Andy Shaddick, Public Affairs Manager for Southern Water said: “Our new STEM challenge will help pupils develop their engineering skills whilst applying themselves to the vital questions of water supply and efficiency. Here at Southern Water we are always looking for new and exciting ways of getting our water saving messages across. I am sure our latest partnership with The Smallpeice Trust will be a great success.”

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