Year 7 students have been celebrating Science Week with an exciting activity session developing teamwork and problem-solving skills, expertly delivered by Matt Bagley from the RAF‘s Youth and STEM team. Whilst stepping out of their comfort zones, students showed their abilities for lateral thinking – whilst having fun! 

Below are some of the students’ reports on the event.

I really enjoyed the RAF event. It was about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). During periods 1 and 2 the man from the RAF explained how he didn’t necessarily want us to join the Air Force, he wanted us to do whatever we want. Then we did a game: we had to put our hands up when he asked us to, and the first person who did it got 1,000 points. We did another activity where we had to pick our group’s “biggest troublemaker” and they would be the only ones allowed to talk, but it was really hard because sometimes we were banned from using our hands. So our “captain” (the troublemaker) would have to think of ways to communicate with us. One question he asked us was “how many toilets or televisions” we had. This sounds simple enough – except the captain was the only one who could talk, and we couldn’t use our hands. We decided to write the numbers on the floor. Finally, he asked us to pick random objects and put them in order of usefulness in situations e.g. if you’re stuck on a desert island. He gave us all a notebook and we took a photo. It was a very unusual event and I personally really enjoyed it.<span class="su-quote-cite">Felix</span>
It was a pleasure working with “Nervy” in Wednesday’s STEM activities. Nervy’s ideas for STEM were to make us step out of our comfort zones and work with different people. He also tried to get us to use normal objects and think outside the box, to turn them into different items when in difficult situations. We completed multiple puzzles involving us communicating with each other without using our hands or speaking to each other. It was a very enjoyable experience and I would like to think that everyone enjoyed the 90-minute session.<span class="su-quote-cite">Luke</span>
The STEM session was an insanely fun, physical and lively experience. It was exhilarating, and a fun break from our usual lessons.

We started off with a simple memory game where this absolutely awesome guy called Nervy pointed at one of us, and asked us to say our name and a thing we liked. He did this to a couple of people (including me). After that, he said things like “who said they liked M&Ms?” (which in this case was me) and everyone would shout out the answer.

Next, we all ran around and when Nervy shouted a number, e.g. 5, we would immediately find people near us and make a group of 5. We were advised to run from our friends and group with different people to be out of our comfort zones. After this, we grouped ourselves in different orders, e.g. youngest to oldest, this getting progressively harder with different things (house number, birthday month etc.) At one point, it was “who was the most likely to get in trouble?” I was the most likely, which meant I and other most likely “troublemakers” were able to speak and move our hands around, while no one else was allowed to speak or move their hands. This was VERY funny, as there was a lot of stamping and fierce blinking!

Next, we had to take a random object from our blazers and together put them in order from “least to most useful” in different scenarios. This was quite fun too, because we were utilising our objects for different things. A boy called Nicholas in our group had a leather wallet, and it turns out you can eat leather (although it would be disgusting).

We ran out of time after that (sadly) so we lined up at the door and we got prizes (a really cool RAF notebook) and I also took some pictures with Nervy, as he is a VERY nice guy.

Overall, it was an amazing experience, mixing fun and something physical together.<span class="su-quote-cite">Finley</span>