STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths

At the Academy we are integrating rich STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) lessons into each subject area. STEM is more than just renaming regular lessons with a new title, it is about encouraging young people to become the future makers, builders and designers of the world.

Solving real world problems is encouraged by working together in groups, researching ideas and experimenting with the solution. Mistakes are embraced and learnt from and students do not need to be worried about trying something out to see if it works.

Making students aware of the links between subjects and how skills gained in one area can help them in others, will unify their knowledge through practical application.

There are many STEM careers to choose from and the shortage of people in these roles is abundant, making it a fantastic opportunity for future generations.

You can read more about STEM at the Academy in our Blog and follow us on Twitter.

BAE Systems STEM Roadshow – Tuesday 5th June 2018

posted 11 Jun 2018, 01:43 by N Nelson   [ updated 11 Jun 2018, 01:44 ]

There is a big focus, both nationally and at Ryde Academy, to get young people involved in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) and as part of this the BAE systems Roadshow, supported by the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy visited students at the Academy on Tuesday 5th June 2018.

The roadshow team spent the morning with students from Year 7 and 8, as well as pupils from primary schools in Ryde, aiming to inspire students to engage with STEM

The focus of the show was numbers and how maths forms the basis of so many things in our day to day lives. They also showed students the fun side of maths and what can happen when you don’t get your calculations right!  

The most popular aspect of the day was the Nao Robot which delighted students and staff alike with its ‘personality’ and Michael Jackson dance routine.

Lots of industries across the country say they are finding it difficult to recruit engineers and scientists and that there is a skills gap amongst younger generations.

As a result, we are doing our bit to support STEM based subjects and create excitement around them and the future careers they lead to. The whole curriculum includes aspects of STEM and there are lots of clubs and trips to help promote it to all students; STEM club, STEMettes (STEM club for girls) as well as trips to Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing HQ, universities, and UKSA.

Richard Hamer, BAE Systems’ Education and Early Careers Director, says: “It is great to see more young people considering a degree or career in STEM and becoming more aware of the exciting opportunities available to them through these subjects. At BAE Systems, our engineers work in a variety of different roles, from designing submarines for the Royal Navy, to developing innovative virtual reality technology for leading athletes to improve performance or even working on wearable tech for the British Army and the latest fighter jets for the Royal Air Force. Initiatives like the Schools Roadshow are so important, especially as this is the Year of Engineering, to ensure we continue to excite young minds and inspire the next generation of scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians.”

Vestas Engineering Project

posted 1 Jun 2018, 05:50 by N Nelson

Earlier this year we launched a new STEM Scheme working with Vestas and other secondary schools to promote the importance of engineering. As part of this students got a tour of the wind turbine facilities.

May was the mid-point of the scheme and students met in our STEM Inspiration Room to discuss their ideas, learn about rapid prototyping and practice presentation skills in front of each other.

Rapid prototyping is a group of techniques used to quickly fabricate a scale model of a physical part or assembly using three-dimensional computer aided design.

It was great to get everyone together and work out how they plan to move forward with their blade designs.

Girls in STEM

posted 13 Mar 2018, 07:54 by N Nelson

On Friday 9th March, thirteen Year 7 Ryde Academy students attended the ‘Girls in STEM’ (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) event organised by the 1851 Trust, the official charity of Landrover Ben Ainslie Racing. The Trust runs a number of events and activities to inspire young people, recognising the diversity of their skills and interests and the importance of STEM subjects to their futures.

The aim of this particular event was to increase participation, contribution and confidence of girls in STEM, introduce girls to positive and inspiring female role models and encourage them to study STEM subjects at further education.

There were a range of activities which students could take part in including Robotics, the Glam Science stand, where they made slime and ice cream, speed networking (groups of students had seven minutes to speak to women working in STEM including satellite designers, sailors and design engineers) and build yacht sails to test in the wind tunnel.

As well as all the hands on activities students also did a workshop on product design. Working in groups, they were given an everyday object which they had to improve on, decide who their target audience was and come up with a name and marketing plan.

At the end all the schools came together and were able to ask a panel of women working in STEM questions about their jobs and career paths.

As an unexpected bonus they also got the chance to see a model of the Mars Rover in action.

Mazie Callaghan age 11 said ‘Today has opened my eyes to the opportunities in the world of STEM. I thought it was all about coding but now I know it’s also creative and not boring!

Maths Teacher, Emily Ball said ‘This event has been amazing for our girls, and made them realise that they can get into STEM careers with different skills and interests - it’s not just about always being the best at maths or science. The main outcome of the day was that the girls felt inspired about STEM careers and more confident about the pathways they could take to get there.’

Vesta Visit - 31st January

posted 27 Feb 2018, 03:23 by N Nelson

Students were recently invited along, with other schools, to take part in a STEM scheme partnership between Ryde Academy and Vestas.

Vestas hosted the event at their world class riverside facility in Newport. James Smith and Drake Marks from Vestas spoke to the students about the importance of renewable energy and how rewarding jobs in engineering can be. John Nicholson from Ryde Academy explained how there was a big shortage in skilled engineering workers in the UK and how that learning to solve real world problems in schools is fundamental to addressing this shortfall and is high on the agenda at Ryde Academy.

Students were given a tour of the facility by staff from Vestas, shown some of the inspirational engineering works and got to look at the 80 metre wind turbine blades close up.

Each school team will be taking part in an engineering competition to design part of a blade using 3D design and printing. Teams will gather again to have their work judged by Engineers at Vestas.

Drake Marks said "As a Vestas employee I was encouraged by the renewed focus on engineering in schools and hope to give further assistance by providing examples of the extreme engineering work we conduct."

TESLA visit

posted 8 Dec 2017, 05:58 by N Nelson   [ updated 8 Dec 2017, 05:59 ]

On Thursday 30th November, 230 students from the academy were fortunate enough to take part in a very special STEM event, focused on our current whole school theme of vehicles and transportation.


A few months ago, Mr Nicholson met Hussain Mawjee from TESLA at a motor show. After discussing how Ryde Academy had an amazing STEM curriculum, Hussain agreed to arrange a school visit to discuss the company he worked for and bring along a TESLA Model X.


Hussain works in sales for TESLA and has a degree in Motorsport Engineering, making him a perfect role model for inspiring students.


Students attended a presentation and learnt about Nikola Tesla, Elon Musk and how our carbon footprint is causing problems for the planets ecosystem. A question and answer session followed, where our students came up with many questions. Some of these questions included:

What happens to the batteries after they are used up?

Has TESLA considered making electric vehicles for public transportation?

Why should we choose more expensive electric cars when traditional fuel cars are cheaper?

At the end of the session the students were allowed to get close to the Model X and sat in it, took selfies and asked lots of questions.


Taking full advantage of Hussain’s experience in engineering, many students asked about career choices and left feeling very inspired about the opportunities that are available to them.


There is a misconception that electric cars don’t perform as well as fossil fuel cars. This couldn’t be further from the truth, the Model X runs 0-60 Miles Per Hour in just over 2 seconds!


Stem Club - Ryde Academy's New Stem Inspiration Room

posted 12 Nov 2017, 23:09 by Nat Admin

This week in STEM Club, students made use of our new STEM Inspiration Room.

Students are currently working on creating articulated wings for Global Rock. Time was spent using the space to plan out how the wings will work, source materials and design a model ready to make a prototype.

STEM Engineering Education Scheme

posted 17 Oct 2017, 07:03 by Nat Admin

Year 12 students attended the induction day for the Engineering Education Scheme at Southampton University in October. This was an amazing opportunity for them to take part in learning about project management, working as a team and developing ideas for a real world solution for a local company.

The students also had an opportunity for a tour of Southampton University and sample what university life is like on campus.

Our students will be mentored by and  working with GKN Aerospace over the next 6 months on a project that will help GKN’s production process to save time and potentially money, using robotics.

Students were told of the importance of STEM career choices and how the UK economy will depend on them in the future.

The team building exercise in the afternoon involved working in project groups to create a rollercoaster that allowed a marble to roll. The winning group was the team that could keep the marble rolling the longest. The team quickly discovered that making the track as long as possible would allow this.

Valuable lessons were learnt on using time effectively and planning ahead before diving straight into their project ideas.

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