On Tuesday 14 October nearly 100 students from schools local to the Salisbury area learnt about careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) with the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).
The Year 9 students were able to get hands on with activities that demonstrated how STEM subjects support the military and protect the UK from terrorism. The activities which showcased some of the exciting careers available at Dstl were designed to be fun and interactive by Dstl’s STEM Ambassadors – individuals who volunteer to work with young people and to act as role-models within STEM careers.
The activities included testing ‘armour’ made from paper and plastic using chocolates and shuttlecocks and an engineering challenge to build a tower using unusual materials such as spaghetti and marshmallows. The students were also able to have a look at a Jackal armoured vehicle to find out more about the STEM involved in designing it, and learnt about how thermal imaging technology can be used to detect heat signatures by thermally camouflaging a plastic cup containing warm water.
The day was devised by Dstl’s STEM Outreach Manager Jaime Williamson and Early Careers Manager Kat Ward. Jaime explained.
The aim was to inspire the students to continue their studies in STEM subjects and show that these subjects offer exciting and rewarding future career opportunities. We encouraged local schools to send those students that had the potential to pursue further study and careers in STEM, but who had not yet made up their minds. So we hope that meeting our STEM Ambassadors and trying our workshops has helped some of these students to decide that STEM is an interesting and realistic career option for them.