“It was eye opening to see the students develop outside the classroom and come somewhere they can aspire to be at in the future”. Gilberstone Primary School Teacher.

It was a pleasure to welcome a mix of Year 5 & 6 students from Oasis Academy Woodview, Gilberstone Primary and Fairway Primary School to the Learning Resource Centre at the University of Birmingham.

“Great opportunity for our students to work with people they wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to interact with and working as a team to think of new ideas” Gilberstone Primary School Teacher

Whats the task?

Students were set a task of creating an events planning company that would design an awards ceremony to reward the STEM students and ambassadors for all their hard work. Nine STEM Ambassadors joined students at the start of the day and quickly got involved in helping students with their first challenge. Their creativity, problem solving and presentation skills were put to the test in a series of mini challenges. Firstly, teams had to share their ideas and come up with an original team name for their event planning company. The teams demonstrated their creativity by coming up with innovative team names including ‘Creative Crew’ ‘Absolute Awesomeness’ and ‘Teamwork = Success’.

With team names decided, students were set the challenge to find out more about the university by going on a mini tour of the campus led by two student ambassadors. Students were show the Great Hall, ‘Old Joe’ the clock tower and the main Library on campus and learnt the history behind them all.

“I didn’t realise ‘Old Joe’ was over 105 years old and if you walked under it when it chimes you might fail your studies” – Momna Gilberstone Primary School Student

“I was really impressed by the old Great Hall which has the most beautiful windows in it” Ayman Oasis Academy Student
Next, students moved on to the interview task, which involved speaking with the STEM volunteers and finding out more about how STEM ambassadors and students like to be rewarded and what form of reward they would like. Fantastic Friends discovered that “it is important to reward employees to make them feel good and encourage them to work hard”.

Deciding on a theme

After students gathered their research, they had to decide on a theme for their awards event that could link with Science, engineering, technology or maths.

“We will have a robotic science Christmas where all the students must design a robot that can dance and looks like santa’ Team Absolute Awesomeness.

This involved thinking about the budget for food, entertainment and prizes. Many groups came up with original ideas including “a wild animal theme where students can explore the different habitats and do wild experiments” Team Education Elephants and ‘a space theme where all the food will be star and moon shaped and the DJ will play space music and all the waitresses will be dressed in space suits with star shaped roller skates.”

“I have been really surprised by their ability and it has been great to see them develop so many core key skills throughout the day” Ben STEM Ambassador and PHD student in Medical Science

Presentation time

With the important decisions made, it was time to plan the presentations. The students’ final challenge was to pitch their ideas in a carousel to a variety of different STEM ambassadors. Students were encouraged to have a WOW factor for their presentation. For example, DJ Donkeys incorporated different dance moves.

After making final tweaks to their presentations, teams started to rehearse, focusing on volume, pitch and persuasive language. It was great to see the students’ confidence improve with each rehearsal. It was now time for the STEM ambassadors to start judging and the students were eager to put on a show.

The students oozed confidence as they stepped out in front of their tables to pitch their ideas . Each time the students presented they were given constructive feedback from their current judge, before, they had another opportunity to present to the next judge.

“It was amazing to see all the enthusiasm come through in the delivery of each presentation” Becky and Thomas STEM Ambassadors studying civil engineering

The judges deliberated on a winner

There could only be two winning teams and after much deliberation the judges decided on….. Fantastic Friends and Rock & Roll to be crowned the overall winners of the day. However, It was clear all primary students left the University of Birmingham enthused and inspired by their experience. One Year 5 student summed up the day perfectly – “I would really like to come here one day to study space so I can discover the unknown” Mercko

Enabling Enterprise are working in partnership with the University of Birmingham to support students to develop enterprise skills and experiences of the workplace. If you’d like to get your school involved, contact us.

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