On 31st January, as part of a Cambridge LaunchPad project day, the students took part in hands-on activities designed to inspire them and help them to consider what their future careers may look like.
The students were led through an exploration of potential job roles and different sectors in the STEM industry, including engineering, construction, games design and laboratory science.
Students were introduced to new concepts, learning about the skills used in different job roles and how to apply them in a real world setting.
With the guidance of student and teacher ambassadors, the year 5’s were shown how to extract DNA; use basic architecture principles in a challenge to build the biggest marshmallow and spaghetti tower; develop their teamwork skills to construct wooden buildings and structural towers; and use their creativity to design video game concepts.
A student said: “It was really fun, what I enjoyed the most was eating the marshmallows and making the DNA. I would redo all the activities if I had the chance!”
By giving them the chance to get hands-on experience in a wide range of activities, led by learners in a later stage of education and early career professionals, Cambridge LaunchPad aims to encourage students to strive to reach their full potential, and see themselves in STEM careers in the future.
Juliet Frost, Year 5 Teacher at Linton Heights Junior School, said: “I have not seen anyone remove themselves, none of them have stepped back – they all got involved. There are children here that would not act like that in the classrrooom, and I’ve seen leaders that I have never seen before. It has attracted them to study STEM subjects and inspire them about what comes next in their lives.”
Throughout the day students were shown the importance of transferable skills. The students were encouraged to develop their communication, problem solving, imagination and innovation. Those who best displayed their understanding of these skills were invited to attend the annual Cambridge LaunchPad award ceremony at the end of the academic year.
Chris Baker, who volunteered and led games activities during the day, said: “What I liked the most was watching the students present their ideas – it shows they have really thought about it, and they are really confident presenting their ideas.”