Anglian Water teach Year 7 students to go with the flow

Year 7 students from Coleridge, Parkside, North Cambridge Academy and the Cambridgeshire Home Educating Families (CHEF) were invited to design ways to filter and remove unflushables from the sewage system in support of Anglian Water’s Keep it Clear campaign.

The students who produced the most creative and innovative solutions attended a STEM outreach day at the Anglian Water education centre, where they had the opportunity to learn about conservation, sustainability and water efficiency.

Ellie Henderson, Community Education Manager at Anglian Water, said:

The students show a great understanding of the world around them put into practice the key skills we need in our work force. STEM and innovation are at the heart of looking after our water.

To test their problem-solving and cost management skills, the students were challenged to build the most efficient water supply system within a strict budget. They were given a map with facilities and had to think about how to link them without the pipes crossing roads. They also needed to consider a ring system so that the supply wouldn’t need to be shut off entirely if there is a leak and how many pipes and connectors their budget could afford.

Molly Askham, STEM Outreach Assistant at Form the Future, said:

The water recycling centre at Anglian Water is perfectly designed to let students innovation and creativity shine through. All students were fully engaged in the hands on activities and really thought outside the box, especially when tasked with making an efficient water system.  Being able to be on site allowed them to take what they were learning and put that knowledge into real life context.

The school groups were also able to tour the site to learn more about what Anglian Water do. Visiting these types of organisations, allows young people to understand that STEM subjects can affect their everyday lives and are not limited to scientists in lab coats. The Cambridge LaunchPad programme also aims to showcase the vast range of job roles available in STEM organisations, and that they are open to all.

William Riggs, Head of Y9 at Coleridge Community College, said:

This was a wonderful experience for our students. So nice to see them engaged in creative problem solving. It was very well organised and a hassle-free day.

If you wish to find out more about our STEM outreach programmes and to be involved in our Cambridge LaunchPad next year, please contact us at aaldred@formthefuture.org.uk.

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