The Imperial College STEM Challenge returns to Oundle School

The second annual STEM Challenge takes place at Oundle School, further strengthening links between the two institutions

Imperial College uses STEM facilities at Oundle School as a regional hub for the East Midlands area. This is the first hub school for Imperial College outside of London and the South East, and it is already acting as conduit for potential new links between Imperial College and local state schools in the area.

Since the days of the celebrated Headmaster F. W. Sanderson, Oundle has been recognised as one of the foremost schools for Science and Engineering in the country. 2016 saw the furthering of this vision with the completion of SciTec, an award winning and ground-breaking science complex with sixteen state-of-the-art laboratories. The final development incorporated a new Mathematics department as well as a significant upgrade to the Design and Technology department, now known as the Patrick Engineering Centre.

Our students had a fantastic day and we would be delighted to come again next year. – Miss Alice Markstein, Science Teacher, Kettering Buccleuch Academy 

Chemistry teacher and Sanderson Fellow, Dr James Bessent commented, “The day started with a lesson on aerodynamics by Scott Marley, followed by the design of paper aeroplanes which were flown in the Laxton Long Room. After lunch the pupils spent an afternoon designing and building a ‘F1 for schools prototype’ in the Patrick Engineering Centre before testing it on the School drag strip.’

This year, fifty Year 7 and 8 pupils from seven local schools (Thomas Deacon Academy, Ormiston Bushfield Academy, Catmose College, Prince William School, The Peterborough School, Kesteven Girls Grammar School and Kettering Buccleuch Academy) participated, with an emphasis on aerodynamics and F1 car design.

James concluded, “Once again I would like to thank Annalisa Alexander (Head of Outreach at Imperial College) and Jon Baker (Head of Design, Engineering and Technology at Oundle) for their efforts and enthusiasm.”

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