Four students were recently selected to take part in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) residential at Loughborough University, during their summer holiday between Year 10 and 11.  Joining those from other schools for the event, they were able to attend a variety of academic talks and workshops – as well as to experience university life, with overnight stays in the halls of residence.

Year 11 students, Jess, Jess, Molly and Michelle wrote the following account of the opportunity:

“In the summer holiday between Year 10 and 11, we took part in an amazing opportunity at Loughborough university: the Athena STEM project [generously funded by the Ford Motor Company Fund].

“We took part in lots of fascinating and exciting activities centred around the theme of sustainability – including building solar powered cars, wind turbines and wave energy converters. All of these activities contributed to our overall task: to create an independent and sustainable island. We enjoyed sharing lots of our creative and eco friendly ideas, including ziplines as our main form of transport and biodegradable food waste bins.  The trip wasn’t just about academia. There were also lots of social opportunities to experience life at university for the first time. We loved our accommodation, the amazing scavenger hunt and the movie/quiz night.

“Overall, we feel like we learnt about why sustainability is important and the science behind it. We feel grateful for the opportunity and that it successfully showed us the positives of university life. Special shout out to our awesome student ambassador, Evie, who felt like a friend and a supporter throughout our time at the university. Thank you everybody.”

Student Ambassador, Evie, from Loughborough University, also provided the following feedback:

“[The students] behaved brilliantly all week and really engaged with every social and academic activity, coming up with fantastic innovative ideas and an island that showed off their intelligence and creativity. They also worked incredibly well as a team, taking into consideration everyone’s ideas and working to each other’s strengths. I was particularly impressed with how they coped on the day of the presentations. They were a joy to work with!” 

As well as the Ford Fund, many thanks go to Marie and all the staff from Loughborough University involved in organising the event.

Mr Greenwood, Careers and Guidance Officer