Blackheath High School Girls are STEAMing ahead

Parents were sent back to school and challenged students to a welding session as part of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Creative Arts, and Maths) week.

Blackheath High School held a series of activities for students based around the theme of STEAM.

The sessions aimed to challenge students and encourage them to try something new. From a science-based Harry Potter potions class where Year 6 students created Exploding Filibusters and Secret Snitcher potions, to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance club.

In a welding class, Year 10 girls wore protective boiler suits and auto darkening helmets, and braved temperatures exceeding 1,000C to turn lumps of sheet steel into bookends.

Head of design technology, Tim Masters, said: “Along with being exciting and fun, this welding session informed students about more traditional technology and, more importantly, introduced techniques traditionally considered to be part of the male domain.”

Parents of the students in the Vanbrugh Park school were also encouraged to get involved through a Back to School evening. Parents undertook a range of workshops from heart dissections to Shakespeare.

Headteacher Carol Chandler-Thompson said: “While we champion these subjects throughout the year, STEAM week  has some quirky and fun activities that proudly ignore gender stereotypes.

“We were delighted that parents could join in, reliving their student days by coming back to school and experiencing what their daughters’ lessons are like every day.”

In addition to the STEAM activities, there was also a women in maths and computer science careers evening.

Speakers included Sue Kershaw, managing director of major project advisory at KPMG, and Raia Hadsell, a senior research scientist at Google DeepMind.

They were joined by Takita Bartlett, a mathematician who designs jewellery and clothing and uses fashion as a platform to engage more young people in STEAM subjects.

This was followed by networking with people from maths and computer science, giving students an opportunity to gain an insight into the industry.

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