Two students from Ormiston Forge Academy in Cradley Heath have come second in a national competition.
After winning the West Midlands STEM challenge in Summer 2013, Natasha Chifamba and Sherriff Shakoane, 15 and 14 years old respectively, recently competed against the other regional winners at the final in Manchester. STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The Government has long identified STEM education as a major priority at both school and higher education level.
During the challenge the students had to calibrate and program a LEGO NXT robot to follow a track in an allotted time. They then had to present their robot and the problems they came across to the other groups and the Lord Mayor of Manchester. Ormiston Forge Academy student Natasha Chifamba said, “There were many difficulties; the robot’s sensors were over sensitive, and the steering wasn’t smooth, but we worked together and overcame them. In the nick of time we managed to get the robot to follow a complex track at a competitive speed.”
The team were awarded a glass trophy and a certificate by the Lord Mayor. Teacher Jenny Onafowokan was proud of her students, “They did a fantastic job, worked hard and performed well under pressure. To do this well in a national competition is credit to their team work skills and the way they conducted themselves.”
What is STEM?
STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
STEM subjects are integral to the UK’s success: the UK is the world’s sixth largest manufacturer, engineering turnover is around £800 billion per year, and whilst the UK makes up only 1% of the world’s population, we produce 10% of the world’s top scientific research. Despite this, it is remarkable to note that even though STEM graduates have the potential to earn amongst the highest salaries of all new recruits, employers are finding it difficult to recruit STEM skilled staff. And alongside our need for a skilled STEM workforce, it is crucial that all young people, regardless of their future career pathway, have the STEM knowledge and skills they need to be an informed citizen in an increasingly scientific and technological society.
From the National STEM Centre.
We’ve added the new Learning Pathways booklet to the website. Ormiston Forge Academy believes in offering all students a broad curriculum that provides a choice of different pathways towards further education and a wide choice of career opportunities. The mandatory core subjects of English, Maths, Science, Technology, RE, PE are studied by all students. Additional subjects will be offered as options. Students will be guided along one of four learning pathways, depending upon their level of achievement over Key Stage 3.
Mr Muckley will be available at the Year 9 parents’ evening on Wednesday 19 March to discuss your child’s choices and answer any concerns should you have any. This will then give you an opportunity to complete the final option sheet. This must be handed in by Friday 21 March at the latest.
You can download the new booklet here or from the front of the website.
Students at Ormiston Forge Academy have swapped their uniforms for ‘something red’ on Valentines day and raised a huge amount of money for a blood cancer charity.
The academy in Cradley Heath welcomed Geoff Thomas, former England footballer and blood cancer survivor, to their Prize Giving ceremony last year. The students decided to hold a non-uniform day as a way of thanking Geoff for his time. Students and staff who wore ‘something red’ donated money to do so, resulting in a grand total of £780 being donated to Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.
Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research is a leading UK charity dedicated to improving the lives of patients with all types of blood cancer, including leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Cathy Gilman, Chief Executive at Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, said: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to all the pupils and staff at Ormiston Forge Academy for organising such a fantastic fundraising day for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research. The money raised from their Non-Uniform Day will help make a real difference to the lives of patients with blood cancers like leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma.”
After being diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia in 2003 Geoff Thomas was lucky; a bone marrow transplant from his sister in 2004 saved his life. Inspired by the bravery of patients around him and a determination to beat blood cancers, he set up the Geoff Thomas Foundation. He was awarded the 2005 BBC Sports Personality Helen Rollason Award in recognition of his charity work. Geoff is now working with Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research to raise funds for a network of national centres, allowing patients to benefit from the latest advances in the diagnosis and treatment of blood cancers. Geoff said, “It was an honour to speak at Ormiston Forge Academy’s Prize Giving ceremony and I’m humbled that they would raise money as a way of thanks. It’s testament to the fantastic students they have there.”
Principal Andrew Burns said, “The red signifies Valentine’s Day but it also represents the great work Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research is doing in trying to cure blood cancers. Forge students always make me proud and today is no exception. Geoff Thomas spoke with passion and from his heart at our Prize Giving and the students were inspired. It makes a difference, when the Forge students come together to do something nothing can stop them – they are incredible.”