On the 9th of February, twelve of our students from Years 8 and 9 attended the launch event for this year’s Go4SET challenge at Newcastle University. Go4SET, operated by the engineering development trust (EDT), is a ten week project that aims to inspire students and promote science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects.Although it may sound like a cliche, our students were a real credit to the school. They were polite, enthusiastic, committed and embraced the series of workshops and challenges they partook in over the course of the day. They formed two groups of six and will work closely with myself and a business mentor over the course of the next ten weeks to solve a particular sustainability related challenge. One group will be working with ‘Think Physics’ from Northumbria University on the topic ‘My School is an Island’ and the other with Team Valley-based Palintest aiming to ‘Design an Eco Hotel’.

The project will involve writing a full technical report, producing a display showcasing their ideas and a visit to their business mentor’s place of work. It will culminate in the final celebration day on the 14th of June where they will present their project and compete against other schools from the North-East for an overall prize. It will be a challenging road ahead but based on what I saw at the launch event I am convinced that both teams will do themselves and the academy proud!

Dr Handley, teacher of Chemistry