During 2018 funding from the Dudgeon Community Fund STEM Programme has enabled a range of exciting and innovative projects to take place to develop secondary school pupils’ enthusiasm and skills within Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects.
The aim is to encourage pupils’ interest so that they are more likely to enter post-16 education or employment within the STEM areas, and the Fund is now open for applications for similar projects to take place during 2019.
Administered by Norfolk Community Foundation, during the current year the Dudgeon grants have been awarded to a range of innovative projects. These include programmes for pupils to learn to design and build robots and electric cars, bicycle maintenance courses and renewable energy activity days:
Designing, building and competing with robots
Sheringham High School was awarded a grant to enable schools in North Norfolk and Breckland to take part in a competition to design, build, program and compete with robots. The school teams then took part in a competition at the school, consisting of two different categories: Lego line follower and Lego sumo competitions. The winning groups from each competition will be invited to compete on an international platform in Tallinn, which is the largest competition in Europe.
Building and racing electric cars
Ten secondary schools in Great Yarmouth, North Norfolk and Breckland are taking part in the Greenpower IET F24 challenge to design, build and race a single seater electric car. This gives students the opportunity to develop and practise their science and engineering skills, in addition to developing teamwork, problem solving, resilience and project management. Each school team is working alongside a local employer, with all of the cars to compete at a new F24 race event to be held at Scottow Enterprise Park in the summer of 2019.
Bicycle maintenance and road safety
Pupils at Neatherd High School in Dereham have been developing their skills in basic bicycle maintenance including developing their own bike light designs, undertaking road safety training and improving their awareness of road hazards. Pupils have been provided with a set of lights and a cycle helmet, and supplied with equipment to use microcontrollers and rapid prototyping to expand their learning.
Applications now open for 2019
The next Dudgeon Community Fund STEM Programme grants will be awarded early next year, with the deadline for applications set at 14 January 2019.
All applications must be for a STEM initiative which will be delivered to pupils in school years 8-11 in education in the Great Yarmouth, Breckland or North Norfolk districts. Applications are invited from non-fee paying schools plus charities, constituted community groups and other not for profit organisations that are accustomed to working with this age group.