During this year’s STEMfest, Chorlton High School students were provided with a wide range of activities to enthuse them in the STEM subjects. These subjects (Science, Technology Engineering and Maths) are now more important than ever; with the Northern Powerhouse initiative being implemented in Manchester as well as many other towns and cities surrounding the region, careers in the STEM sector are showing the largest growth.

Our Year 7’s opened up STEMfest by visiting a planetarium set up in our Blue Box Theatre. Here, students got to observe many aspects of our galaxy and appreciate how vast the universe is. Following this, some of our Year 8 girls took part in an engineering event where they had to use their construction and design skills to build a large wooden pyramid based using simple repeating three dimensional shapes.

Year 10 students got the opportunity to go to a lecture given by a junior doctor. As part of this engaging talk, students learnt about what it takes to become a doctor, what the progression into medicine is like and how demanding studying medicine can be.

KS3 students took part in a bake sale to raise money for the Christie hospital - all of the cakes made sold really well and they looked fantastic. We have already raised well over a £100 and are continuing to raise money through further donations.

A select group of Year 7 students got the chance to write their own spells to help them carry out a selection of ‘magic’ scientific experiments as part of a special Harry Potter themed event. In addition to this a further group of Year 7 students were invited to spend the afternoon at the Museum of Science and Industry to look at the scientific history of Greater Manchester.

Our Year 8’s were invited to an event held at the University of Manchester, aimed at inspiring students to consider studying at degree level. Here students visited a science fair led by PhD researchers, a workshop on antibiotics and immunity followed by a lecture given by a professor in meteorology. For our students this was the first time they had learned in a lecture format - they listened well and really enjoyed this new experience!

To bring STEMfest to a close, our Year 10 students took part in a special STEM networking event. Here students got the opportunity to meet with STEM professionals from the local community. We had 24 visitors into school to speak to our students, the largest yet, including GPs, transport engineers, primatologists, and microbiologists. Students had short discussions with each visitor about their career before moving on to the next.

Thank you to everyone who helped make STEMfest a big success - we hope students now feel more encouraged to consider STEM subjects and have a better understanding of these subjects both within and beyond school!