STEM Week (13 to 17 November 2017)
by Goh Ju Li Greta (S2M) and Sim Zhi Yu Issac (S4R)
STEM week: A week of innovation, creativity and an opportunity to exercise one’s mind. STEM represents Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The STEM week took place from 13 to 17 November and during the week, students from various grades came together to participate in STEM-related activities. These ranged from building a model of an earthquake-proof structure to a STEM-based challenge that included the whole school.
The major competition of STEM week was building an earthquake-proof structure. The competition was a huge success which drew the interests of many students. It started with all the classes from each level building their individual structure. We were given materials which we had to work with under a set of conditions. Many different groups had different ideas on how to approach the problem. Some structures were in the shape of pyramids whereas others in the shape of a cube etc.
One of the criteria in this competition was that the structure should be able to hold a 200 grams weight whilst being able to withstand the normal earthquake simulation and the mega earthquake simulation. Most of the buildings were very strong and stable and the referees decided to increase the difficulty. The winner, a structure submitted by DP1A (Marshall) could withstand an astonishing 1500 grams whilst in the mega earthquake simulation. The two follow-ups, S3L and S1M, could also withstand 1200 grams and 800 grams respectively. The competition provided an opportunity for the students to develop their skills in scientific thinking, knowledge of STEM, and definitely teamwork.
Another competition, the STEM challenge was an entertaining event for us and the student population. The students were subjected to a series of STEM-related questions and they have to run across the sports hall to present their answers. It was truly an exciting game and the students also learnt about some scientific and mathematics concepts and facts beyond the curriculum. In the end, Marshall emerged as the champion of the STEM challenge.
Other activities of STEM week include the photo-taking competition where students have to observe the surrounding and take photos related to STEM. Some notable achievements are the most creative photo which was won by DP1B’s Lindsay Hu, and the most surprising photo which was won by S2R’s Laetitia Kwek. A talk was also organised where Dr. Karen Mak from the Hong Kong University was invited to share on Food Chemistry. Dr Mak’s lesson on the principles of food chemistry has led us to a greater appreciation of the scientific progress in food science and how we can manipulate chemicals in nature to produce a vast array of food.
An exhibition was set up at the library after STEM week to display the photos and earthquake structure competitions, allowing students to examine the creations and works made by their peers, and learn from one another’s contributions.
Overall, the STEM week was a week of discovering and applying new scientific concepts. Our goal of nurturing the interests in STEM concepts in students and enhancing their knowledge of STEM has certainly been fulfilled. We would like to acknowledge the guidance and support of the Science Club members and the STEM teachers.