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Greater Peterborough UTC is Full STEM Ahead

Students and staff at the Greater Peterborough UTC celebrated their first year full of achievements, milestones and highs at their celebration event ‘Full STEM Ahead’.

The day featured a number of interactive STEM challenges and activities put on by staff, sponsors and employer partners such as launching water powered rockets with Anglian Water and testing students’ fitness via the use of state-of-the-art sports technology with Loughborough University.

Our student council members took charge of the day as their first official council responsibilities, helping to plan and organise the celebration. Year 10 student ambassador Devan stepped up to deliver the morning welcome and shared his experiences of being part of the first cohort of students at GPUTC. Devan proceeded to introduce our VIP speaker Dr Emily Grossman from Sky TV’s ‘Duck Quacks Don't Echo’, who spoke inspirationally about her personal journey into STEM.  Dr Grossman emphasised the importance of the journey that she had been on to get to this stage of her career and how emotional openness can lead to collaboration and creativity, traits which our students will find imperative on their own UTC journey.

Employer sponsor Perkins Engines were also involved in the day, setting our students the challenge of creating aeroplanes to miniature scale, which they competed to see whose design and aerodynamics produced the best flight. Not only did this test our students’ problem solving skills, it also challenged their understanding of maths and physics which they have been building on over the last year in their Engineering and Built Environment studies.

In addition to the above activities our students also had the opportunity to engage with Dr Grossman as she delivered her excellent ‘Weird and Wonderful Facts’ session. Additionally, our female students took part in the WISE Campaign for girls led by Dr Grossman, which involved our students taking a personality quiz to find out more about their attributes and possible career opportunities they could pursue within the STEM field.   

Matt Humphries from Anglian Water who delivered the Water Rockets challenge had this to say about the day “As always with GPUTC it was great to see a new generation of engineers and scientists getting involved with some fun new activities. It’s a real pleasure to be able to contribute as a sponsoring organisation in this way”.

The day concluded in the unveiling of our brand new art sculpture to mark our first year of memories. The 1.5m square based pyramid which was a nod to the World Record our students broke in February 2016, features panels with the names of all of our students, sponsors and partners. The pyramid also features panels which reflect the materials that were utilised in the building of the UTC. Unveiled by our Chair of Governors Phil Brown and our Principal Steve Warburton, the pyramid will be housed in reception from September for all new visitors to see.

Our Head Boy, Lewis who closed the day’s event commented on how he felt the day went: ‘I really enjoyed working with the sponsors once again and doing tasks specific to their fields. Having been a part of the team to organise the day it was great to see students thoroughly enjoy it and the launch of the UTC pyramid made the day even more special’.

Principal Steve Warburton explained the concept behind the day: “Full STEM Ahead was a very apt theme for activities which were all about exploration and problem solving… and also appropriate as we look forward to more progress and development in a successful second year, adapting and improving all we do as we double in size”.

A big thank you to all the staff, students and sponsors that made the event a possibility and we look forward to another year of GPUTC being Full STEM Ahead!