What happens at
STEM DEN camps?
Preparing young people of today with the education,
experience and skills they will need for a modern and fruitful tomorrow.
Children who attend STEM Den develop an intrinsic love for learning. With no formal testing or unnecessary paperwork to complete, the children and their teachers set their own 'recipe for success' for each challenge. 'Will the bridge span a gap of 2m and support a dynamic load?', 'Will the program they have designed make a fun fairground ride speed up, slow down and change direction?' The children are taught to handle success and failure equally by evaluating what happened and then asking (non judgmentally) 'What happens next?'. In this way it is the children themselves who take the challenge to the next level; 'Let's predict where the spaghetti tower will collapse first when tested to destruction... then build something even better'.
The whole day program allows children the time to pursue an interest, to design and execute their own experiments and find their own solutions to practical, real life situations. They are taught to understand that failure is part of a learning process and that through collaborative learning they can be successful in the challenges that lie ahead. The children work in collaboration with one another and are encouraged to develop ideas and support each other, making them empathetic when working as teams and excellent communicators. Children of all ages work together. They become confident, independent 'life learners'... and the best thing, they love it!
AlAll of our children are taught to solve practical problems using tools and equipment with confidence. Our specialist trained staff will give them all the guidance they need as they start and continue their learning journey.
What is STEM?
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. STEM is important because it appears in every part of our lives. Science is everywhere in the world around us. Technology is continuously expanding into every aspect of our lives. Engineering is the basic designs of roads and bridges, but also tackles the challenges of changing global weather and environmentally-friendly changes to our home. Mathematics is in every occupation, every activity we do in our lives. By exposing students to STEM and giving them opportunities to explore STEM-related concepts, they will develop a passion for it and possibly even become empowered to solve real life problems of the world in the future.
It is predicted that two thirds of the jobs taken up by the children who attend our classes by the time they are adults don't even exist at the moment! So how can education possibly prepare them with the knowledge and the skills to succeed?
Stem Den connects with the world outside the classroom. The children are shown how the world outside of the classroom; its designers, scientists, engineers work to improve the world we live in. We have visitors from all aspects of the STEM career spectrum from animatronic experts to zoo keepers to visit our fully equipped workshop where children learn through hands on exploration. Take a look at out STEM ambassadors page to find out more.
Why Stem Den encourages our future engineers to 'Dream Big'.
STEM Abassador Visits
We enjoy welcoming our STEM Ambassadors to teach us about the connection between the classroom and what happens in their field of expertise. We loved listening to Neil Pepper, MBE about his travels in the Arctic using dog sled. The important message about our individual responsibility to conservation should be a key part to all of our lives.
Tools and Equipment
Our specialist workshop is fully equipped for Design, Technology and Engineering as we would find in a normal secondary educational setting. We have our traditional workbenches and handtools, There are machine tools such as scroll saws, the bandfacer for sanding and handheld power drills. There is also equipment for bending and shaping plastics, for laser cutting wood and 3D printing.
Our staff are fully trained with DATA to work with the tools and equpiment, they are also First Aid trained. All of our children undergo training and instruction before using the equipment and will be closely supervised until we feel they are competant to go it alone. They are expected to listen and behave in a suitable way in order to be safe in the workshop. Safety of everyone is vitally important. Managing risk is an important part of using tools, we teach our children how to consider and manage the risks involved when using tools.
Different programs of study for different ability levels
Our witches and wizards day... inspired by the movies. Could you build a broomstick from just sticks and string?
STEM DEN is aimed at boys and girls aged between 5 and 13 years old who love to be actively involved in learning. Our enthusiastic, experienced teachers will assess what level your child is working at and will structure fun and challenging activities to their interests and abilities. Having a whole week to explore ideas and solve challenges allows young people to experience failure as well as success at their own pace, build up resilience and grow, in terms of knowledge, confidence and mindset. All invaluable skills which can be related directly back to life in school. Our family based learning encourages children to be supportive of each whatever the age, experience or background. We welcome children from all walks of life and celebrate the diversity of being individuals.
We aim to stretch the more able and support those who need more help, so whatever their ability just an inquiring mind and a willingness to have a go is all they need to get started.
Our aim is to inspire a love for independent learning.
Our activities provide links through the following nationally known and trusted schemes
British Science Association Crest Award Scheme for Science
Scratch Programming - a fun way to learn coding
Crumble and Crumble Bot - apply programming skills to bring your creations to life
Dyson STEM activities
Dream Big: Engineering our World, DiscoverE Engineering Challenges
Some of the activities from one of our camps include:
These are to name but a few of our many fun and exciting challenges. Why not sign up for our next camp to find out more...!
- making a desalination device so that we could make clean water from salty water
- making a 'moon buggy' and programming it to avoid craters
- finding out about UV light and carrying out an experiment to find out which the best material for making a space suit would be
- exploring with water and pressurised air to make rockets
- guest speakers who spoke and involved pupils in activities about Liquid Crystal Displays and how asthma affects peak flow
- soldering together an AM radio
When can my child come to STEM DEN?
Camps are run throughout the holidays for children aged between 5 and 13 years old.
We actively encourage boys and girls with all levels of ability. For safety reasons, we expect children to follow instructions by listening carefully. They will need to be able to act calmly and respect when other people are talking. While we want everyone to have fun, all of our children know that we have strict rules to keep everyone safe. For everyone's benefit, please ensure your child is aware of this if you have registered them for our sessions.
What are the benefits of
coming to a STEM DEN Camp?
STEM DEN students are provided with enrichment classes which support and extend the lessons they currently cover in their school curriculum. They have the opportunity to put their creative thinking into action, apply their knowledge of Science and Mathematics in practical, 'hands on' fun activities. Students learn the importance of teamwork and collaborative learning, enterprise and social skills, all much sought after attributes that are looked for by employees in life after school.
They are taught by dedicated and qualified staff, enthusiastic about the work they do with
the desire to inspire a love for learning. All staff are DBS checked.
We provide a quality, value for money service, there are no more than 10 pupils per adult.
Exploring and testing structures.
Outstanding facilities...St. John's School, Northwood
Pupils have the opportunity to learn in a purpose designed, modern Design and Technology workshop, fitted with all the equipment they need to develop their ideas, explore concepts and allow creativity to flow in the rich learning environment. They have access to modern PCs, machine tools such as cutting, sanding and drilling equipment. The large screen allows for demonstrations, videos and face to face discussions to take place over SKYPE. They will have the support of experienced, dedicated teachers - no more than 10 pupils per adult. Come and have a look at one of our sessions in action before you book... Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment.
Our Wonderful Outdoor Spaces
With access to fantastic facilities, St. John's School lends itself to a perfect outdoor classroom. It has acres of woodland and open space to explore. The children find out about nature and are encouraged to discuss its influence on design and engineering. They are actively encouraged to respect the environment they live in and frequently discuss where materials come from and end up after the life of a product.
Children participate in team building activities and have opportunities to build dens and other structures out of doors. Whatever the weather, children can expect to go outside, get some fresh air and involve themselves in an activity which will get their heart rate up. We use our outdoor spaces every day, so be prepared with outdoor clothing and a change of shoes.
Testing out the catapult for our Lego action heroes!
Armed with the scientific knowledge about the water cycle and the experience of building
framework structures, the students here are working together to build a desalination device
harnessing only the power of the (on this occasion very bright) sun.