STEM-Based Workshops

Our curriculum-linked workshops are designed to support STEM subjects, with a focus on Computer Science, Physics and Design and Technology.

They take a cross-curricular approach, drawing on students’ learning across other subjects, in particular Geography and PE.

Workshops also develop employability skills, introducing aspects of multi-disciplinary team working using Agile methodologies, similar to those used in many STEM-related job roles.

Each workshop presents participants with a challenge. As part of this challenge they will develop their skills in areas such as map reading, coding and electronics. They will also build and test a digital device. They then use both their skills and the device as part of an outdoor challenge. Finally they reflect on their results and evaluate their success.

A workshop typically lasts for one day. A series of workshops can also be combined into a longer programme which enables participants to develop a wider range of skills and iterate on devices.

Workshops can also be tailored to meet specific learning outcomes or to support the requirements of groups, for example Duke of Edinburgh skills programmes.

The Challenges

PLANE WRECK RESCUE (GPS & GRID REFERENCE)

Your team are flying to an Outdoor Technology Innovation event when you lose power to your engines and crash. An on-board device recorded your position as you flew, but it was smashed to pieces in the accident and its transmitter has disappeared. Can you and your team put it back together? Could it lead you back to where the transmitter landed?

Participants practise reading an OS map and using four-figure grid references. They are challenged to piece together a GPS receiver using simple components. Then they use the map and device to navigate from one point to the next to find the waiting rescue team.

GPS Drawing Challenge

What do you use to draw with? Pen, pencil, paint? How about using a GPS receiver and logging data whilst walking? You can then visualise that data as a drawing.

In this creative workshop, participants learn basic orienteering and route planning. Using Arduinos, data loggers, LEDs, buttons and GPS they design and make a device which can accurately locate their position.

Drawing on their orienteering skills and using the device, they walk the planned route, logging their position and then use the output from the device to draw their journey and compare it to the original planned route.

Expedition Tracker

Aimed at participants who’ve already completed one or more workshops, the Expedition Tracker challenge is an opportunity to build on navigation and route-planning skills, and to create a more advanced device.

Having planned a route and programmed this into the device, participants navigate the route, visualise the data logged and review it against the original plan.

This workshop will introduce elements of digital product management as participants follow a cycle of design, build and test iterations to ensure success.

Startup Scenarios

The Startup Scenario is an add-on workshop. It complements other challenges by training teams in the methods used in industry to design, build and test technical products.

These new methods of development and delivery have changed the ways in which tech organisations work. Traditionally they were risk adverse, delivering only what they knew would be guaranteed successes at a steady pace. Today many tech companies and public sector organisations are doing things differently. They’ve learned that delivering smaller iterations of a product, faster, learning from failures and listening to what their users want leads to much greater success.

Participants become a part of a startup and take on different roles in a multi-disciplinary team. They learn the difference between Waterfall and Agile delivery and the benefits of delivering in iterations. They are introduced to user research, how to gather requirements based on user need and how to manage delivery through user stories.

They learn how to be more effective with their time, how to work well as a team and how to continuously improve performance – their own, that of the team and of the product.

The Modules

 OS Grid Reference EscapeGPS Drawing ChallengeExpedition TrackerStartup Scenarios
Map Orienteering Warmup
Plan Do Review Warmup
Multidisciplinary Teams
Waterfall vs Agile
Inputs and Outputs
GPS
Liquid Crystal Displays
Data Logging
Grid References
Route Planning
User Stories
Agile Sprints and Iterations
Outdoors Challenge
Data Analysis
Retrospective
Show and Tell
Review
1 Day1 Day2 Days1 Day

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