Students take on science and engineering challenges at QinetiQ STEM Day

Eighty pupils from five Worcestershire schools visited QinetiQ on Friday, 6 November to take on challenges designed to inspire and excite them about studying science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

The event, which coincided with Tomorrow’s Engineers Week, involved five activities that tested the year 9 pupils’ teamwork and gave them an insight into the skills required to become an engineer.

Thirty volunteers and STEM Ambassadors from QinetiQ led the challenges, one of which saw the students building and programming four Lego robots before racing them around a course to get the fastest time.

Another task also required the students to compete against the clock, this time to evacuate an astronaut from his spaceship by controlling a series of airlocks using a Raspberry-Pi computer.

The other activities included learning about Android app development, and simulating the movement of people in public spaces using modelling software called NetLogo.

David Baker, Technical Director at QinetiQ in Malvern, said: “Our aim was to inspire the next generation of future scientists and engineers. We gave each school a set of problems to solve, which challenged the students to learn together in teams, to not be afraid to try many times before succeeding, and to have fun.

“QinetiQ has been at the heart of new technology developments at our Malvern site for over 70 years, and we hope that this new generation of scientists and engineers will allow the region to remain a hotbed of innovation for decades to come.”

The event is part of a wider programme of STEM outreach engagement that aims to encourage and inspire young people about studying STEM subjects.

QinetiQ is also a founding member of the 5% Club, an industry-led initiative that has now exceeded 100 members, committed to having at least 5% of their workforces made up of either apprentices, graduates or sponsored students.

Notes for Editors:

Participating schools:

  • Christopher Whitehead Language College
  • Pershore High School
  • RGS Worcester
  • Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College
  • Prince Henry’s High School

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