Year 5 students wowed by digital and green technology at Cambridge LaunchPad event

Over 70 Year 5 students from Abbey Meadows Primary School took part in the first Cambridge LaunchPad event for this academic year. The STEM outreach programme, managed by Form the Future CIC, brought business volunteers from Cambridge Cleantech and Cambridge Regional College together to host a fun-packed day learning about digital and green technology.

Anna Aldred, STEM Outreach and Cambridge LaunchPad Project Manager from Form the Future CIC, said:

“The Cambridge LaunchPad Project Day for the Abbey Meadows Primary School Year 5 students with Cambridge Cleantech and Cambridge Regional College has been the first Project Day of the 2017-18 academic year, and the first of the new format for LaunchPad. From the feedback that the Abbey Meadows students, teachers and teaching assistants gave me, it is safe to say that the day was an overwhelming success! Every single student was fully engaged in all activities at all times. The interactive and hands-on activities allowed each and every student to let their curiosity, delight and individuality shine through. These activity sessions yielded some truly novel contributions from students, which makes me confident that the members of this generation of young scientists are going to grow up to be inspirational innovators!”

The six students who most impressed the volunteers were selected to attend a prize trip that will take place in the summer, alongside Year 4–6 students from other schools that are taking part in Cambridge LaunchPad events.

Cambridge Cleantech challenged the 9–10 year olds to build a cardboard city or design a renewable house modelled from rubbish and recycling. Each activity got the students thinking about energy consumption and creative ways to reduce this in everyday life. The winning house design featured solar panels, a wind turbine, and a rainwater collection system which fed into a swimming pool!

Sam Goodall, International Projects Manager at Cambridge Cleantech, said:

“It was a fantastic day, and inspiring to see the enthusiasm all the students showed for green technology in their building activities. This is what Cambridge Cleantech’s Greensoul project is all about, and it’s great to see it in action.”

Cambridge Regional College introduced the students to cutting-edge digital technologies in their activities. One session focussed on coding by getting the students to play music using a Raspberry Pi computer, the other gave an insight into how computer games are developed. This activity was the most popular with the students, as they were able to exercise their creativity and imagination to draw their own computer game characters. The young student who most impressed Rizing Games, Cambridge Regional College’s computer game development team, designed a host of unusual characters and an exciting story line.

Kate Da Costa, Director of 14–19 Study Programmes at Cambridge Regional College said:

“We really enjoyed hosting the LaunchPad event at Cambridge Regional College and encouraging visiting pupils to get involved in STEM subjects through our hands-on computer games activities. It was a great day and our student volunteers played a big part in helping inspire the pupils from Abbey Meadows.”

Cambridge LaunchPad is a movement led by science and technology companies that invests their talent and resources to inspire young people, especially girls and young women, into STEM careers. It is a 3-tiered scheme designed to inspire, educate and enthuse students from Year 4 all the way through to the end of Year 12. The Founding Partners are Arm, Marshall of Cambridge (Holdings) Ltd., Schlumberger and TTP Group.

This academic year, Form the Future will be hosting 30 Cambridge LaunchPad project days for hundreds of young people from across the Greater Cambridge region. Each of the 22 corporate partners will be challenging the students to a variety of interactive tasks to make STEM accessible, exciting and interesting. If you would like to find out more about the programme, or get involved in our 2018–19 activities, please get in touch.

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