Mid Sussex Science Week – The Burgess Hill edition

Friday 23rd June saw the culmination of a fantastic week of collaboration between schools and local companies to enthuse the next generation of Engineers and Scientists. Yet again this year The Kings Centre provided its main hall and all its back rooms for the event. Thanks to Jo and her team there.
Phil Todd, Chair of Mid Sussex Science Week and BSE3D Managing Director, opened the day with a warm welcome.
This event was organised by local business BSE|3D and Burgess Hill Business Parks Association and would not have been possible without the companies giving their time and knowledge to these schools.

Generous sponsorship came from Edwards VacuumPanattoni, Gatwick AirportCarpenter BoxHPCTime24PRB Accountants and PVL.

All photos are provided by © Alex Rickard and her time was generously provided free of charge.
Here we see pupils from Bolney Primary enthusiastically demonstrating the vacuum cleaners they designed and made with guidance and support from Edwards Vacuum, who do not, incidently, make vacuum cleaners!

Five schools attended together with their STEM Ambassador. Each developed a project based upon science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).
Apart from being STEM Ambassadors with Southway Primary, Leap Environmental also had a fascinating fossil exhibit on the day.

Our STEM Ambassadors and exhibitor companies offer a lot of their staff time to our event. We take this opportunity to say THANK YOU.This year Southway was working on a project looking at sustainable energy. They developed a range of windmill models and came up with some interesting concepts with a variety of turbine blade designs.

Here’s Mims Davies listening intently as one of the girls explains their project work.
In the next photo below, the judges arrive at the Birchwood Grove project table. Working with chemists from Ridgeview Wine Estate they created new drinks from a variety of fruit juices.
They measured the sugar and PH levels of their new creations and showed the results with graphs. The marketing and branding ideas they also developed would have been worthy of any big London advertising agency. Also included were tasting notes on each beverage from our fruit juice sommeliers.

To the far left we see Liz and Katharine from Ridgeview, on hand to support the pupils on the big day.
Susan Fleet was one of the judges on the day. She spoke with every child to understand what they had learned from their project work. Here she is at the Sheddingdean table, their work was guided by HPC, this was their ‘Pneumatic Car Project’.

Working in pairs the judges had specific criteria they were assessing at each project table:PresentationTeamworkResearchUnderstandingHere we are at London Meed’s table with judges and, to the far left, Cybility Consulting’s  Ana Garner with her young charges as they explained the game prototypes they developed, both as physical models and the coding they created for their very own online game about cyber security awareness.
An employee at Time24, Ray Gabriel came along with his colleagues from The British Tarantula Society. The spider exhibit was very popular, with some very large tarantulas kept securely in their vivariums. There were also incredibly detailed living displays of a tropical forest floor ecosystem.
Here we see the Giant Tetrahedron taking shape. This is now a permanent fixture of MSSW, it’s a well documented STEM activity from the constuction sector. We had a team from facilities management company BSE FM helping the pupils make this, together with a student volunteer from Haywards Heath College.
These young boys are trying to discover where the fault lies in a radio broadcast. It involved listening carefully to some detailed technical instructions, reading sophisticated  information displays and twiddling the knobs on some very high tech equipment.
Broadcast Bionics had a three person team managing all the hardware for this very popular exhibit.
Ardingly College arrived with the only solar powered car allowed to drive on UK Roads. It’s also crossed Australia in the solar car challenge.

Here we see some girls exploring how it all works. One of the key drivers of this event is to encourage girls to keep going with STEM subjects when they start secondary schools.
Edwards Vacuum must be applauded for the level of involvement and support for MSSW. Not only one of our major sponsors, but also with both a STEM Ambassador team at one of the schools and an exhibit on the big day. Here they are with a vacuum bell jar showing what happens to a marshmallow in a vacuum. Hint… it expands significantly as the air inside this puffy treat can’t escape the membrane of its sugar coated surface, it therefore expands when there is no pressure outside it. They get to eat them after the experiment.
Mims Davies MP for Mid Sussex joined us for the awards ceremony. The winners were Sheddingdean and runners up Bolney. 

Lisa Wetton, Corporate Partnership Manager from The STEM Hub at Canterbury Christ Church University are donating science books to the winning school and provided everyone who took part with certificates for participation.

Here’s the winning team, Sheddingdean, proudly showing off their trophy and certificates with MSSW chairman Phil ToddRichard CoxMims Davies and Mark Jackson, who as the STEM Ambassador from HPC guided the pupils on their project. He also received a small winners trophy!

Sarah Watson, Assistant Head Teacher at Sheddingdean Community Primary School had this to say after the event:

Thank you for arranging the MSSW – the children had a blast. I am incredibly proud of them winning, this will be an incredible boost to their confidence.

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