Williamwood STEM Fair 2015 is packed with activity!

Issued: Fri, 13 Nov 2015 12:52:00 GMT

Staff and students of Williamwood High once again held their bi-annual STEM Fair and what an occasion it was!

Almost topping 1000 visitors the hall was absolutely jam-packed with Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths activity. With animal brains being inspected at one stand, a spaghetti tower at another and exploding bottles of Mentos infused Coke going off like geysers in the car park it was true nourishment for the scientific senses.

Thirty nine tables of STEM bordered the audience and presented some of the best and boldest experiments, demonstrations and challenges in the West of Scotland. Not content with that, organiser David Sudding had also allocated additional space for a staged Channel 4 style ‘Million Pound Drop’, Disgusting Digestion presented by Glasgow Science Centre, Really Small Science by Joy Leckie of Strathclyde University and a Sports Science Lab from Glasgow University.

This was also a great opportunity for the school to reach out to its cluster primaries while at the same time informing their younger pupils, as Mr Sudding explains “Williamwood High School is committed to promoting STEM subjects, both as part of the school curriculum and through extra-curricular activities.  Our staff also actively promotes STEM careers as an option for our pupils.

The STEM Fair provides an opportunity to showcase to pupils in our cluster primary schools how exciting STEM subjects can be.  It lets them visit the school and meet some of the teaching staff.  The Fair also gives our S1 and S2 pupils the chance to meet local employers and universities, allowing them to discover first-hand the vast range of exiting careers and courses that are available to help inform their options choices as they move up through the school.”

Science Connects was once again able to provide STEM Ambassadors for the event. Anthony Dornan an Ambassador from the Institute of Molecular, Cell & Systems Biology was on hand to shine a light on genetically engineered flies that glowed fluorescent green to show how kidney disease develops.

PhD student in Neuroscience and Pharmacology, STEM Ambassador Mariana Arroja had a very engaging presentation (with props) on how much blood, sugar and O2 does the brain use every minute? She also exhibited brain models and brains and got pupils to guess what animals the brains are from while explaining the different functions of the brain and why brains differ amongst animals.

Demos on Earthquake Engineering were given by Euan Mackenzie of Amec Foster Wheeler and Graeme Dunn from Grontimij Engineering Consultants. They used a jelly mould to show the effects of an earthquake on a structure and how problems could be circumvented by engineering solutions. They also demonstrated with paper cups how they can hold the weight of a human if the cups are strategically placed, thus using as little material as possible but still structurally safe. Even to those less well versed in engineering principles these demos were cleverly illustrated and straightforward to understand.

A proud David Sudding said of the night ‘this year three former Williamwood High School pupils returned to showcase at the STEM fair.  This is particularly satisfying and we hope that in future years increasing numbers of pupils who were inspired to follow a STEM career as a result of their experiences at school will return to inspire the next generation of STEM talent.

Williamwood High School would wish to thank Science Connects for their invaluable support in using their network of STEM ambassadors to ensure a great diversity in the STEM work showcased at the Fair.  We look forward to working in partnership with them again in the future.   With nearly 1000 pupils and parents attending, the STEM Fair is now an established event in the Williamwood High School calendar.”


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