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Year 5's explore the importance of STEAM at Brackensdale Primary School

Primary STEAM is a recently devised workshop, created by our education team, to deliver in primary schools across the UK. The focus of this workshop is power and renewable energy, so that young people are aware how science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics fits into our everyday lives.


To the excitement of its learners, this creative session was held at Brackensdale Primary School, in Derby, this January. Senior Education Communicator, Jill, facilitated the fun and educational workshop for two Year 5 classes of 30.

Working from the title of the workshop STEAM, the sessions inspire young learners and highlight the need for careers within these sectors. This follow-up session is one of many that Brackensdale pupils will experience, after taking part in a previous, larger-scaled event: Derby Primary STEAM Day.

Power Workshop:

The power workshop taught pupils about the origins of electricity, how much is used on household appliances and which appliances uses the most and least joules of energy, using a timeline sheet. Learners were then asked to create a human chain of wind turbines, pylons, sub stations and buildings, showing how electricity flowed from its source, all the way to our community. This interactive session helped pupils visualise how important power is and how bad it can be when the power is cut!

Following on from the power activity, the Year 5’s put their creative skills to the test and made their very own Buzz Wires. This taught them how to design an appropriate shape, so that they were able to follow the wire without touching it and making a ‘buzz’ sound.

Renewable Energy Workshop:

Introducing the topic of renewable energy, Jill explained how renewable energy is produced and the importance is has for preserving the Earth. The final activity involved students using their thinking and problem-solving skills in the Fantasy Island challenge. This activity promoted how important it is to place the renewable energy resources in appropriate locations for them to work and to give us energy. Using stickers that represented different renewable sources and an additional help sheet, the learners placed where they thought the best places were for each of the sources to provide power on their Fantasy Island map.

STEM Ambassador:

We also had the pleasure of additional support on the day, thanks to retired Rolls-Royce engineer Mr Scott, who now spends his time as a STEM ambassador. He taught pupils about his career working as an engineer and expressing the awareness of what Rolls-Royce does as a company; mainly building engines for airplanes. Throughout the day, he showed interest in our workshops and inspired pupils by helping them in their decision making during the activities.

“I didn’t know there would be so many sources of energy!” – Year 5, boy
“Thank you, this day was really fun.” – Year 5, girl

In discussion about Primary STEAM Day event from November 2018:

“I liked that I made new friends.”
“I liked the Hot Wires set – I even got one for Christmas!”

Thank you to Brackensdale Primary School for an enjoyable day. Everyone was very accommodating and it was fantastic to see such enthusiasm from the Year 5’s!

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