Dow King’s Lynn hosts school STEM competition

A group of bright youngsters from four local schools gathered at Dow King’s Lynn for a new STEM-related educational competition recently – and the event was such a success that teachers are eager to repeat it in years to come

The Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths initiative brought together students from four West Norfolk Academies Trust schools in a hotly-contested final: Terrington St Clement, Marshland St James, Smithdon and Springwood High Schools

Made possible with a donation from Dow via the Community Impact Grant scheme – requested by Amanda Dobbing who supports STEM initiatives with local schools as part of the King’s Lynn Community Relations team – the competition was coordinated by Richard Thompson, of Springwood High School.

Year eight students from across the Trust’s schools were asked to form teams to come up with a scientific investigation into a topic of their choice. Finalists then had the opportunity to present their projects to a Dow-panel, headed by King’s Lynn Site Leader, Julian Beresford-Peirse. With an interesting range of studies from Skittles Rainbows to Splash Balloons, it was clear the students had embraced the challenge with enthusiasm!

It was also chance for Dow to showcase the work done at King’s Lynn and to celebrate the role of chemistry in everyday life, with the Dawn to Dusk video bringing Dow’s science to life in an engaging way.

“We were really pleased to host this exciting STEM event and extremely impressed with both the standard of the four projects undertaken and the presentations on the day,” said Julian Beresford-Peirse. “It was great to see so many of the students in our local area excited by science and we hope that many of them go on to have fulfilling careers in the STEM arena.”

With each school taking part receiving a £200 donation from Dow to support the projects – as well as all award trophies funded by the company – King’s Lynn played a central role in the initiative, as Assistant Director of Science Springwood High School Rebecca Davies, noted.

“We want to thank Dow for supporting such an excellent initiative,” she said.”It was great to see so many students engaging with and enjoying Science. The students from all the schools within the trust displayed great imagination in their choice and presentation of their projects. We look forward to continuing this in the future, and seeing the future of STEM in good hands.”

The winning school - Smithdon High School, pictured below – took away a new shield designed especially for the event and funded by Dow. Andy Johnson, Executive Head Teacher of West Norfolk Academies, said the Trust will take part again next year, and hopes to extend the competition to other local high schools in the area in future.

With the event featured prominently in the Lynn News as well, the publicity and goodwill generated should encourage plenty of interest!