Name: Karolina Ochwat
Job title: Y7 Science Cohort Manager
School: Jo Richardson Community School
Why did you take part in the TE Energy Quest programme?
As Y7 Science Cohort Manager I was looking for an activity that would boost the interest of our top end students in Science. I wanted my students to take part in an activity that would create a challenge, promote growth mind-set and increase awareness of STEM subjects. Finally, I wanted to take part in a Science programme that was fun.
How have the pupils benefitted from taking part?
This project has raised our pupils’ awareness about different possibilities as far as future job opportunities are concerned. It gave them a chance to take part in a variety of STEM activities which developed their knowledge and boosted creativity. It also helped to improve their communication and team-working skills
What are the positive outcomes of taking part?
The project has definitely broaden our students’ horizons. They are now much more aware of what is “out there”. It has also changed their perception on what engineers do. Team work and ability to compromise were essential during the session; all tasks allowed the pupils to further develop those skills. It resulted in the pupils raising their aspirations and not ever settling for second best.
How has the TE Energy Quest fitted in with your curriculum?
The Energy Quest provides a number of links with the curriculum: fossil fuels, alternative sources of energy, health and safety while conducting experiments, etc. It is also an excellent activity that allows to bridge the gap between the primary and the secondary curriculum. It has been a practical based quest which has helped to engage the pupils’ interest and curiosity, encouraging them to explore the world of science.
Why is it important to you to inspire your pupils to consider engineering as a career option?
With the energy issues our future generations will face we need more creative individuals who can come up with solutions to some or all the problems our planet is facing. Engineering is definitely one of those branches that can support that. Furthermore, it also informs choices for the future (e.g. Y9 options) and allows application of science skills to practical tasks. It shows the pupils that engineering is the application of scientific knowledge to solving problems in the real world.
Whilst science gives us an understanding of the real world, engineering enables this understanding to come to life through problem solving, designing and building things. Engineering is not just a man in an oily overall!
What would you say to other schools thinking about taking part in the programme?
Stop thinking and book the energiser session! The Energy Quest is excellent for an after school club. Everything is planned with clear instructions for the teachers and numerous resources for the students.
Quotes from pupils:
“It was great finding out about all the different types of engineers, I have learnt a lot throughout this experience” Hannah, 7G
“After this experience we now know about many job opportunities in engineering” Matthew, 7I
“It was so fun, I forgot we were learning!” Devika, 7I
“This experience made me change my view on engineering completely. Now I think that any idea could be a reality with engineering” Joel, 7A
“I feel like today’s engineering project opened up many career paths for me, as they taught me all the requirements of becoming an engineer while being incredibly fun” Jeremiah, 7E
“It was a new experience for me and was very interesting to be able to do something an engineer does. Altogether, it was really fun.” Renee, 7F
“My favourite part of the workshop was building the car. I enjoyed the creative part of the building process. I will probably consider engineering as an option for the future” Maya, 7H
Quote from teacher:
It was a fantastic learning experience. We decided to document the second part of the project on our blog jrcsccsproject.blogspot.com. This helped to get parents involved in their children’s learning as well as the pupils were proud to show and discuss what they were doing in each session.