Through the collaboration of four organisations, Year 11 students from the Brighton & Hove Pupil Referral Unit (BHPRU) have been given the opportunity to gain a nationally recognised STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) qualification.
Working together, the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, STEM Sussex, Brighton University and the Greater Brighton Metropolitan College (the MET) provided an exciting practical project to help the students achieve a STEM CREST award. CREST is a project-based awards scheme for the STEM subjects run by the British Science Association. It links the personal passions of students to curriculum-based learning.
Working as a team, the students were tasked with designing and building furniture for the BHPRU garden under the guidance of volunteer STEM project manager, Robert Ogden. First of all, they were visited by engineers who guided them through the building process. They then spent an afternoon in the Design department at Brighton University refining their designs with the help of Product Design undergraduates, who are also STEM volunteers.
Once their designs were finalised, the students attended a Carpentry and Joinery workshop at the MET with Head of Department, Geoff Coughlan, guiding them through the build.
Julie Melia, Head of Key Stage 4 at BHPRU said:
"This project has been a fantastic opportunity for BHPRU students to see the practical application of lessons learnt in the classroom. They’ve been given the opportunity to work with industry professionals and with students studying at degree level. Most significantly, they’ve experienced college life, being able to use the facilities at the MET to see their designs through to an amazing finished product."
Following a few finishing touches, the students will fill the planters with herbs to be used in BTEC Home Cooking Skills lessons.