Roundwood Park use a pro-to-type their CAD/CAM application
We were very pleased to pass an excellent bid by Roundwood Park for 3 Refurbished Dell Latitude E7240 laptops. We are always impressed when schools search for the highest specification resources for a particular budget and Andy Libberton (Deputy Head of Technology) managed to source these fully refurbished machines with a good guarantee.
In a very strong and detailed application, Andy explained how the laptops would be used, said why they would enhance learning and gave specific examples of the topics they would benefit:
“The laptops will be used alongside the departments 3D printers/laser cutters to enable rapid prototyping through the use of digital software installed on the laptops. These will be predominantly used by KS3 year groups and offered to our specialist KS4 and KS5 classes.
Students will gain a first-hand insight into CAD and CAM. They will be able to use the laptops alongside the existing CAM machinery to gain an understanding of rapid prototyping and one-off production, which will be particularly beneficial for:
- Year 9 Mechanical engineering – designing wind turbines (renewable energy).
- Year 8 Aerodynamics – environmental/ greener air travel.
- Year 7 Materials, components and manufacturing – designing injection moulding and casting kits.”
(other examples were also included)
"The three laptops would enable students to make full use of our CAD/CAM digital technology which would otherwise be difficult and inefficient. Our current setup does not always allow students to see the CAD/CAM process in action nor an immediate physical outcome. It will enable a higher level of expertise/learning to be taught across all year groups practising STEM subjects.”
Andy then further addressed our bredth of learning criteria by explaining how the machines and software would benefit other subject areas:
“… facilitating effective learning of a wide range of topics and subjects, not just within Design & Technology. The skills gained from experimenting with CAD and CAM are transferable and can be applied across the curriculum to provide a greater impact to students’ overall STEM learning. For example:
o Science – rocket structures/ components can be designed and built for Space Club.
o Engineering – allow students to test structural integrity of projects and gain knowledge of forces.
o Mathematics - specialist/ technical tool building, i.e. protractors, set squares and stencils”
(other examples were also included)
Ridgeway row their way to full strength
We were pleased to grant Ridgeway a PE award for five rowing machines. Matthew Pring (PE teacher) explained the need for the machines:
“We are currently hamstringed in terms of what sports we can offer. Limited to indoor space with mixed groups. Two of our 5 indoor spaces are dedicated to fitness and it is a staple of PE at Ridgeway. However, with constant use, some of our current machines are now out of use or barely usable.”
Matthew then told us the benefits the machines would bring:
“The award would provide us with the opportunity to teach children about health & fitness and how to lead a healthy lifestyle with equipment that is brand new.
It would give us as a department, more flexibility when teaching and mean more children can access our topic each lesson.
…to improve our current facilities and give students the best opportunity available to improve their physical and mental health within these current times.
This would benefit all students in our school, from year 7 to 6th form.”
Presdales bounce back from a loss of equipment
We were pleased to grant Presdale’s School a PE award towards two roll-out gymnastic mats. Nikki Albone (Revenue Generation Coordinator) first explained the need for the mats:
“Herts Allstars are a competitive cheerleading club who have used Presdales sports facilities in the past. Due to strict controls on the rental of school sports facilities due to Covid 19 this club has found an alternative venue. This has a larger impact than losing the 'jumpers for goalposts' as they have already taken with them their mats that they kindly allowed us to borrow in the past.”
Nikki then told us of the benefits of her chosen mats and which pupils would be benefitting from them in particular:
“These mats are only available from specific suppliers and are manufactured to a standard that ensures that they have a considerable life-span providing a good investment for EdufundUK and the school for the remaining funds that will be obtained from the Dance Evening proceeds fund.
… The advantage of these mats is their size means that there is continuous protection down each side of the trampoline without the gaps when using gymnastic mats.
Presdales runs Trampoline Club before school which is very well attended from KS3 and upwards. Trampoline lessons are held at KS4 with numerous students using this sport for one of their three practical sports for formal assessment at GCSE. It is vital to have the correct safety equipment at all levels but especially so at this level where students will be pushing themselves to achieve high grades.”
Longdean work alongside robots to develop STEM skills
We were pleased to grant Longdean School a grant towards the purchase of a NAO 6 humanoid robot. This exciting project was applied for by Tracy Doyle (Finance Director) and Shakeel Rathore (Director of STEM) who explained Longdean’s existing focus on STEM and how the robot would further:
“…boost interest of students in electronics and technology. We have a STEM stream now in Y7 and Y8, and after school STEM clubs totalling 70 students. Robotics is one of the projects that we are using to enthuse the children and we have already obtained grants and invested in the purchase of a whole class set of VEX IQ.
Year 6 induction pupils, also 6th formers have been offering support to the KS3 STEM club and we are arranging 'Masterclasses' from ex Longdean pupils now studying at university.
As a humanoid, interactive figure it will massively increase the profile of STEM and act as a clear attraction for students interested in joining the STEM stream. We envisage taking NAO out to our feeder primaries, and using her to welcome visitors at open evening. It will also allow DT staff without previous experience to learn about robotics and give the chance for 6th formers to work alongside KS3 students.”
However, just increasing interest and motivation in STEM subjects would not be enough to pass our criteria so Shakeel discussed how the robot would enhance learning as well:
“A great way to introduce STEM and deep dive into students’ learning with variety of skills related to STEM subject. For example, students are able to program the robot to walk a geometric shape, they can apply skills that they have learned in other STEM related subject classes. When they write code for the robot they are applying computer science and basic technology skills, but they are also thinking logically, like mathematicians or technology/engineers.
It allows students to design solutions to problems. It goes beyond algorithms and mathematical thinking. A big part of it is logic and teaching young learners how to think. The programming and math go hand-in-hand because there is some computation involved in programming. But also there is computational thinking, providing young learner a platform and learning experience that involves thinking logically, problem solving and analyse about the next step in their coding with the robot.”