Derby STEAM primary day


The Derby STEAM Primary day, held at the Riverside Centre, consisted of approx. 300 year 5 pupils from five Derby primary schools. The event hosted was to enhance the young learner’s knowledge and aspirations for learning about all things STEAM, (science, technology, engineering, art and maths).

The schools were divided into different groups, mixing the schools for the children to have the opportunity to make new friends whilst enjoying themselves. They learnt about all the different aspects of STEAM related activities. These STEAM activities varied from building their own paper wind turbines to making circuits. They then challenged each other in the mini robots arena and were thoroughly engaged whilst learning.

As well as the activities and workshops, the pupils got to experience watching the incredible Atomic Tom and his science show, Atomic Science. They learnt about different fun and educational science experiments, which was a highlight to most of the learners on the day:

“Atomic Science was my favourite because I learnt how to measure my lungs”- year 5 pupil (Ravensdale Primary school)

“It was brilliant to see the children enjoying science and seeing theory in action”- Teacher (Firs Primary school)

“The scientist was really good! Atomic Tom was so funny!”- year 5 pupil (Beaufort Primary school)


Sharing this experience with the schools, our team witnessed the enjoyment of the pupils, which showed throughout the day as they experienced and took part in each of the activities.

Louise Curd, Learn by Design’s Director of Programmes said:

“The Derby STEAM Primary days held this week at the Riverside center have been a fantastic success. Both children and school staff got involved with new activities, to spark their curiosity and excitement about Science, Engineering, Technology, Arts and Maths.

The days will be followed up by 3 in school workshops, in all 10 schools, where the young people will explore the concepts learnt in more detail. They will also develop some innovative ideas for a Primary Big Bang STEM competition. These will be judged at the Big Bang East Midlands Fair, 28th June 2019 , Derby Arena. It’s exciting to see the young people so enthusiastic about STEM.”

Overall the Derby STEAM Primary day was a success and many of the teachers and young learners would agree that they learnt something.


More feedback we received from day by pupils and teachers:

St Peter’s Junior Primary School

“I thought it was a very educational day. I enjoyed it all, but my very favourite part was the robots”- Year 5 pupil“Thoroughly engaging and enjoyable activities allowing children to explore STEAM”- Mr Grant, Teacher“I learnt how air helps aeroplanes to fly”- Year 5 pupil

Ravensdale Junior School

“I love science- this day was awesome!”- year 5 pupil“I now understand what engineering is all about”- year 5 pupil

Firs Primary School

“The show is amazing, science is like magic!”- Year 5 Pupil“It’s the greatest trip! it’s been so nice, I’m so lucky I came here”- year 5 pupil

Beaufort Primary School

“I liked fiddling with the electric cars and trying to get them to work”- year 5 pupil

Springfield Primary School

“The things we loved the most was being able to play with the robots and we learned lots of new things.” – year 5 pupil


The Grant Fund for Science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) was accessed on behalf of Derby City Council who received the Opportunity Area grant and the Essential Life Skills grant from the DfE on behalf of the local area.

In order to enhance social mobility as part of the Opportunity Area programme, the Local Opportunity Area Board is keen to improve outcomes in STEAM.

Learn by Design deliver a range of activities that help schools and learning providers to improve outcomes for STEAM:

  • Provide a positive image for children and young people in STEAM subjects.

  • Improve academic outcomes in STEAM subjects and especially improving outcomes for disadvantaged young people in STEAM.

  • Strive for a better gender balance in children and young people following STEAM subjects.

  • Create STEAM partnerships between learning providers. This could be via family of school activities such as joint training days, working with the FE or HE sector etc.

  • Engagement in additional curricular experiences in STEAM.

  • Improve school and college based teaching and learning in STEAM via CPD.

  • Create positive pathways in STEAM, for example, through STEAM information, advice and guidance for young people.Build a strong evidence base of effective STEAM practice and which includes the voice of children and young people.

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