Professional and Flexible Delivery of High Quality STEM Activities
Dr. Martin's STEM Challenges are exciting, hands-on, competitive experiences that require pupils to use diverse skills including teamwork, communication, problem solving, design and construction, time management and, in some cases, budget and risk.
All the Challenges are set within a real world scenario and typically start with an introductory PowerPoint presentation followed by team assignment and a brief planning session. A 'design and build' session (60 - 90 min) is followed by communal judging and, in an exciting climax, a results showdown when the winning team is revealed via an interactive spreadsheet.
The Challenges are categorised into four types, shown below together with their suitability for pupil groups of different age and size. Dr. Martin offers additional flexible and improvised delivery to ensure there is a STEM Challenge that will meet your needs.
Pupils: KS2, KS3 and KS4
Duration: half/full day
Disaster Relief Challenge
Set up requirements
Disaster Relief Enterprise Challenge
Disaster Relief Challenge Day
Iconic Tower Challenge
The Disaster Relief Challenge is a half day activity for a single class or medium sized group (30-48) of KS3 or KS4 pupils.
Following a volcanic eruption on the Caribbean island of Martinique, pupils perform the role of a disaster relief team to deliver food and medical supplies to the affected inhabitants.
This involves building a bridge using wooden dowels and elastic bands and making a K'Nex vehicle to transport supplies across the bridge. Each team is allocated a fixed amount of resources.
The Disaster Relief Enterprise Challenge is Dr. Martin's preferred half day bridge and vehicle building challenge for a single class of KS2 (Years 4 - 6) pupils and is also suitable for a class or medium sized group (30-48) of KS3 or KS4 pupils.
The scenario is similar to the Disaster Relief Challenge (above) but the teams must work within a fixed budget (disaster appeal donations) and purchase all the resources and aid required for the challenge from a store.
Preceding the Challenge with a half day (morning) Giant Tetrahedron will give pupils the oportunity to apply what they have learned about structural strength.
The Iconic Tower Challenge is a half day competitive team activity for a single class of KS2 (Years 4 - 6) pupils and is also suitable for a class or medium sized group (30 - 48) of KS3 or KS4 pupils.
Following an introduction to some of the world's tallest freestanding structures, pupils take part in a mini hands-on tutorial to learn some construction tips relating to strong structures. Pupils then work in teams to construct an iconic tower for the city of Amsterdam using wooden dowels and elastic bands. Teams work within a fixed budget and purchase resources from a store.
The height, standard of construction and aesthetic qualities of the towers are all taken into consideration as scoring criteria.
The Disaster Relief Challenge Day is a full day activity designed for larger groups (36 - 64) of KS3 or KS4 pupils.
The day commences with the highly motivational Giant Tetrahedron activity with emphasis placed on design, construction and structural strength.
The scenario is similar to the Disaster Relief Challenge (above) but the larger sized teams must use their set allocation of resources to design and construct shelters in addition to the bridge and vehicle. Pupils are encouraged to apply what they have learned during the Giant Tetrahedron activity to the construction of their life saving structures.
The main requirement for STEM Challenges is plenty of space, school halls are usually ideal. The Iconic Tower Challenge requires a high ceiling and all the Disaster Relief Challenges require the use of tables or exam desks (two per team plus a few extras). All the STEM Challenges require an IT setup, either in the main venue, or an accessible alternative room.