We entered two teams of Year 9 pupils into the SI Bournemouth’s STEAM Challenge for Girls; a prestigious Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics challenge and both Ballard teams were selected to go through to the finals. There were only two places available in the finals for Year 9 pupils – so this is a fantastic achievement.

The STEAM Challenge is now in its eighth year and continues to attract more interest from the engineering world. It is nationally and internationally recognised that there is a shortage of girls choosing STEAM subjects as degrees, and a growing body of evidence about barriers to subsequent careers. This challenge was created to inspire girls and encourage them to overcome these barriers.

The brief – ‘Design anything that would help improve the lives of the poorest people in the world…’

Our pupils’ work and presentations were commended for incorporating creativity in their designs, for not ‘reinventing the wheel’, but instead cleverly using known technology and improving/applying it, and for following the given brief.

We are proud to add to our STEM successes; we were also the winners of the TeenTech Solent Engineering Challenge last year.

Andy Maskell, Head of STEM and Fellow of the Sinnott Teaching Fellowship, said:

“By challenging pupils to think independently, analyse situations and develop solutions to problems, our pupils are able to produce impressive products using a range of methods. I’m proud to see that the pupils’ STEM abilities have shone through at these challenges.”

Andrew McCleave, Headmaster, said:

“I am really proud of the approach and creativity of our pupils – they have performed exceptionally well and are a real credit to Ballard school. I have no doubt that they will go on to be engineers and scientists, and be at the forefront of exciting and innovative projects in the future.”

The STEM agenda has a high priority at Ballard and many links are formed combining the elements of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths to create exciting cross-curricular projects and competitions.

Our STEM department is well known for achieving impressive results with their innovative projects, having attained a number of national awards. The department leads the School in developing technological, cross-curricular projects and challenges, often using business and industrial links to develop exciting and successful solutions.