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Mars ‘mission’ for pupils

26 June 2018

School pupils taking part in science demonstration

Over 150 pupils from 12 schools are creating their own mock Mars ‘mission’ using hands-on activities designed to encourage a love of science.

The annual STEMLive! event takes the Year 8 children (aged 12 to 13) out of the classroom and into a world of science supported by staff and students from Cardiff University and National Museum Cardiff.

The young learners will be challenged to create and sustain a new colony on Mars using activities based around STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).

STEMLive! 2018 takes place at National Museum Cardiff on Thursday 28 June and features pupils from schools in Cardiff, Swansea, Newport, Caerphilly county and Vale of Glamorgan.

Science teacher Huw Rees, from Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Llangynwyd in Bridgend county, said: “I think STEM events are so important for the pupils because they demonstrate how a number of different subject areas and disciplines pull together to solve real problems.

“The project-style work that this promotes is similar to what they will be doing when they find employment in the future.

“Working with mathematicians, engineers and scientists will also give them a really good feel for what they might like to do when they’re older, which will help their drive and determination to achieve throughout school.”

The event is a partnership between Cardiff University – including the Cardiff Institute of Tissue Engineering and Repair, Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, the HEFCW-funded First Campus project and the Central South Consortium Joint Education Service.

Ciara Hand, Senior Learning Officer, National Museum Cardiff, said: “STEMLive! is a great opportunity for learners to gain unique access to science collections and research at the National Museum Cardiff, and take part in a range of STEM-related activity that links with real-world applications.”

Dr David Blaney, Chief Executive of HEFCW, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for major players in STEM education to work together to inspire school students.

“We have been pleased to be able to support such activities under our Reaching Wider banner for the past 15 years, helping to break down barriers and widen access to higher education and higher-level skills.

“I am sure that this year’s Mars scenario will inspire many pupils to consider pursuing STEM subjects into higher education and beyond.”

Previous activities at STEMLive! have included designing earthquake-proof structures and investigating how honey bees are used to identify drugs to fight bacteria.

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