Over the Summer, 227 children and young people and 46 volunteers joined our Summer School programmes across Newcastle this Summer. It was our fourth year at Walker Technology College, second at the Apostolic Church sponsored by the Reece Foundation and our first at Throckley Community Hall sponsored by the Willan Trust.
All three Summer Schools had a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) focus and in the morning involved fun activities such as rockets, car races, egg pods, rollercoasters, spaghetti houses, bridge building and batik. In the afternoons we mixed it up introducing French hair and beauty, sport, music and Heston cooking, but kept the STEM theme through our robot coding sessions. Despite this years weather, we got out in the open on our mini trips to Jesmond Dene, Rising Sun Country Park, and Beamish Museum! Newcastle University’s STEM ambassadors were kind enough to run Street Magic Science sessions with us that got the children questioning the stereotypical view of a ‘scientist’ usually portrayed as mad, male, and wearing a lab coat. The children even learnt about the history of local STEM figures and Newcastle’s STEM background on our tour of inventions in the Discovery Museum.
On Thursdays parents and siblings joined us to get a taste of the activities first hand and give a round of applause for their child’s attendance and brilliant talent.
Summer Schools are an excellent way for children to make new friends, to keep them off the streets and their minds active. You might call us crazy but 7 weeks is too long!
We aim to continue to support children in STEM subjects through the Clubs we run alongside our Learning Hubs. It is important to encourage and support children in these subjects that can often seem scary and challenging. The sponsor of our West End Summer School at the Apostolic Church, the Reece Foundation wants to help create the next generation of engineers. They want to help provide the skills for children and young people to succeed in this field, despite their social-economic background, to create a thriving employed community. We hope that the Summer School has given the youngsters and insight into what STEM can do for them and expect a high interest in our STEM focused Clubs. The 1989 Willan Charitable Trust has secured the continuation of our Code Clubs (see previous blog for more information > http://www.s4a.org.uk/success4all-coders/).