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STEM Newsletter Articles

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  • STEM News April 2024

    Published 24/04/24


    Bexley Grammar Students Win Big!

    For six weeks this spring, a group of 30 Year 8 students were invited to take part in a new Engineering Programme called STEMFEST run by The Fest Hub. The aim of the programme is to bring together schools, engineers and the football community to inspire a new generation of engineers. Our school was paired with Charlton Athletic Football Club and an Engineering Firm called Ramboll Group, and we competed against two other schools from the London area.





    Students worked with engineers and representatives from Charlton’s Community Outreach team over a number of weeks to learn about engineering and its role in football and also to design a new stadium. We then attended a grand final at the London Stadium where they pitched their ideas to a panel of industry experts, who then quizzed them on their designs. I was incredibly proud of how all the teams performed. Anyone would have found the presentations daunting, but they all rose to the challenge and really represented Bexley Grammar School brilliantly.

    All the students were given a goodie bag and enjoyed the novelty of having a free lunch, which made us all feel very professional!

    Overall, our teams did fantastically well, winning three out of the six prizes available (we didn’t actually enter two of them but who’s counting??)

    Ms R Lusted, STEM Coordinator

    The winners were:

    Most Sustainable Design

    Nibodh Shrestha, Jason Hammond, Victoria Lawani & Guin Homfray

    Best Presentation

    Radleigh Pompei, Adam Sulcas, Sid Pant & Josh Rehal

    Strongest Bridge

    Lilla Berglund, Florie Nalepa, Freya Savage, Hannah Keeling,
    Katy Fletcher & Christopher Male

    A student’s perspective 

    Stemfest was an amazing opportunity to learn more about the field of engineering, allowing us to learn more about a profession we may want to pursue in the future. They accomplished this by setting us the task of redesigning Charlton Athletic Football Club's, 'The Valley'. We then spent the next few sessions of STEMFEST learning about the roles of engineers in a team and working on our presentation for the redesign of The Valley stadium. We started the event by, in groups, building the strongest bridge possible with newspaper rolls and cable ties. Juice cartons filled with water were then placed onto the bridge to see how much load our bridges could hold. This depended on our design and how well our bridge dispersed the weight of the load. The winner of this bridge contest was a group from our school with a load of 43 cartons, each weighing 1.75kg to a total of 75.25kg, which broke their all-time record.

    We then went to present our group presentation that we had been working on over our past few STEMFEST sessions to a board of professionals who assessed our stadium designs and presentation skills. After that, we were treated to a buffet of sandwiches. Then it was inspirational speeches delivered to us by special guests who, against all odds, became incredibly successful in the engineering industry, passing some of their immense knowledge onto the new generation of potential engineers. This was followed up by the award ceremony, which presented the well-deserved to students awards for best design, sustainability, and presentations, being awarded a trophy and a £30 Amazon gift card, and although I didn't win, I still had a very enjoyable experience. Throughout this experience, I have learnt greatly about the field of engineering, and it has developed my interest in engineering and increased my curiosity in science.

    Elwood Battye, Year 8

    Please click on the link here to view the STEMFEST Photo Gallery.

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  • STEM NEWS ~ British Science Week 2024

    Published 27/03/24

    British Science Week is always a busy and fun-packed time at BGS. Over the few weeks surrounding this event we have squeezed in four trips, a number of special science week lessons, form-time science quizzes, a STEMFest collaboration project with Charlton Athletic and even a Rocket Show! And we are not finished yet. The legacy project this year is to put together a time capsule. Keep an eye out for more information next term about what the students have selected to go into the capsule.

    Furthermore, as part of our Outreach work in the local community, six of our Year 12 science leaders will be visiting Danson Primary this week to deliver a special science week workshop based on the theme of time.

    In previous issues you have heard from our students already about some of these events, but here are a few photos of what they have been up to.

    Ms Lusted, STEM Coordinator

    Click on the link here to view the STEM British Science Week 2024 Photo Gallery.

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  • British Science Week 2024

    Published 06/03/24
    Chemistry in Action

    On the 29th February, myself and a group of higher chemistry students went to the Chemistry in Action lecture at the Emmanuel Centre in London. In this lecture we gained an insight into multiple fields of chemistry that we could go into in the future and their current ideas and innovations in solving problems with society, the environment and industry.

    We learnt about the current progress in making batteries more sustainable by finding more environmentally friendly alternatives for their components while also trying to increase their effectiveness in supplying and storing energy.

    In nuclear chemistry we were informed about the ways that nuclear waste can be recycled in order to decrease the amount of high level nuclear waste. Some fission products can be used in medicine to target metastatic cancer cells and in space exploration in the form of nuclear batteries. They debunked misconceptions and explained in detail how nuclear waste is disposed of and how rigorous safety regulations are, which definitely helped ease a lot of our fears about the disposal of nuclear waste affecting the environment.

    Then there was a panel of Chemistry graduates who gave their experiences in university and career decisions. We could go into chemical engineering, with study years abroad, and write a PhD on a cell's chemical signals or work in industry in analytical chemistry and do an iterated Masters, or even do an apprenticeship and specialise in crystallisation of medicine. What connected all of their experiences together was a love and curiosity for chemistry.

    Since important tests are coming soon, a professional chemistry marker explained and clarified the questions on the papers and helped us avoid common errors in regard to the command terms in the question. As usual, always read the question.

    An “Accidental” Material Chemist explained how she became passionate about material chemistry through opportunities offered by university and international competitions, pushing science to its limits. She also wrote a PhD on creating a type of composite pellet that would be viable as a sustainable container of hydrogen to power cars, which involved lots of hands-on practical work and exploring different ratios of material to see new properties.

    Finally, we learnt about the ways that synthetic chemistry can help diseases like snake bites in the tropics (a commonly disregarded illness). Current treatments include antivenoms which rely on knowing the species of snake for a specific medicine or having to deal with multiple horrible side effects from receiving many different antivenoms. Antivenoms are also really expensive, hard to synthesise and hard to transport due to their temperature requirements, so chemists have been trying to synthesise glycopolymers in order to replicate the properties of antivenoms in order to diagnose and treat snake bites while also increasing accessibility of healthcare to all people.

    This was a fantastic learning experience which broadened our horizons with what we can do with the field of chemistry in the future.       

    Adrianne Yu-Mason, Year 12

    This was a fantastic introduction to British Science Week which commences on Friday 8th March, so please look out for more STEM events organised by the Science Department.

    Mrs Moore, Head of Science

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  • STEM News February 2024

    Published 21/02/24

    House STEM Competition

    Teams of Year 9 and 10 students worked hard over four weeks to create marble runs. The challenge was to keep a ping pong ball moving for the longest period of time and include as many cool design features as possible. As always, the ingenuity, creativity and hard work of our students was evident throughout. All the designs were completely different and lots of clever strategies were implemented to slow down those ping-pong balls, such as; speed bumps, spiralling journeys, spinning gates and bottle top stepping stones. Have a look at some of the winning designs. Well done to Prothero for coming in first place!

    Ms Lusted, Stem Coordinator

    Winner Prothero! 

    (left to right)
    Kirkman, Prothero, Wellman, Mabbs










    Final Results
    1st - Prothero

    2nd - Mabbs
    3rd - Wellman & Kirkman
    4th - Collins
    5th - Johnson


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  • STEM News ~ 21st September 2022

    Published 21/09/22

    There are a huge number of extra-curricular clubs and competitions running throughout the year that fall within the umbrella of STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths). Check out our timetable for a full breakdown.

    They start next week and some sixth form activities only run for the autumn term so don’t delay!

    Just turn up!

    Ms Lusted, STEM Coordinator

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  • Upskill Me

    Published 16/12/21

    Upskill Me

    Upskill Me are running a brand-new programme to break the glass ceiling and empower young women and non-binary students to enter the world of STEM careers. As a school we were invited to nominate 10 students in Year 12 and 6 of ours were successful in getting accepted on the course! An impressive feat when over 600 people applied for the 150 places. They are:

    Lora Stancheva, Leila Thaifa, Bianca Daniele, Mayukhi Panda, Christabel Masaba and Francesca Adeloye


    Ms Lusted, STEM Coordinator



    This programme is for girls and non-binary people in Year 12 who have an interest in STEM, and allows us to meet once a month with STEM professionals from employers such as Facebook, Google, UCB and Atkins, who share their own experiences as women in STEM with us.

    The sessions are engaging and let us interact with a lot of amazing people in STEM, who really help you understand what a career in STEM is like, and how to thrive in one. I would recommend this program to girls who enjoy STEM subjects, as I feel it has been such a great opportunity to meet and get to know new people, as well as to get more experience around work and practical skills.

    Mayukhi Panda, Year 12


    The Women in STEM programme is a 6-month course for non-binary and female pupils interested in science, technology, engineering, or maths. It provides group mentoring sessions, work experience and workshops, plus the amazing chance to meet females in top UK companies.

    I think it’s a wonderful opportunity as you get to be around other non-binary and females who have a passion for these academic areas. It really is empowering being in a room – or zoom rather – with people you can identify with and look up to. I’ve found these sessions have made seeing myself in a STEM career more vivid, simply by seeing a fellow woman there. They also teach you how to present yourself professionally, which builds your
    self-confidence. I would definitely recommend it to other non-binary/ female pupils currently enjoying their STEM subjects.

    Christabel Masaba, Year 12






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  • Power Day 2 ~ 24th November 2021

    Published 09/12/21

    Power Day 2 on the 24th November had a STEM theme.

    For Years 9 and 10 this meant workshops run by ambassadors. Despite the threat of Covid, we managed to pull in a record number of ambassadors with two full year groups taking part for the first time.

    Year 9 each completed three different workshops including food technology, engineering, product design, architecture, emergency medicine, police robotics and computer science. Sadly, the emergency medicine ambassador had her own medical emergency a few days before the event and broke her foot! This meant that she could not deliver the session in person but put together a virtual workshop instead. Although this meant a slightly different approach we all appreciate the efforts she went to!

    For Year 10, seven engineers from a variety of specialisms joined them in completing a series of tasks and challenges throughout the day. We are extremely grateful to them all for giving up their time to come in and inspire our young people.

    Every workshop meant an opportunity to work as a team, problem solve and think creatively, and also meet someone who really works in that field. As always our students impressed all our visitors with their attitudes, efforts and achievements. The ideas and creations from both year groups were amazing, and I couldn’t have been more proud!

    "In engineering we were tasked to make a roller coaster out of various materials like cardboard boxes, paper cups and tape. For the first part of the session we were taught about different types of engineering and the process engineers go through to create. I think it would have been a little more interesting to learn more about the different jobs you can go into regarding engineering and the different subjects within it, as they were only touched on briefly. Making the roller coaster was very fun, and the presenter made sure to come around to each group and check how we were working. I think the group sizes (about four or five) worked very well as there were enough people so that there were lots of ideas, and it was enjoyable, but not too many that there was room for arguments, and it was very well planned and termed so that we could all understand.

    I think a lot of people wanted to do cooking, so some were disappointed when they didn't get it. Obviously that can't be helped, but I wonder if there are ways to get more engaging subjects for people who aren't as academically focused on classic STEM subjects. I think a good example of this was the last minute product design workshop that replaced the medicinal chemistry one, but I think all the workshops did a good job of being accessible and engaging for all students.”

    A happy student, Year 9

    Click here to view the STEM Power Day 2 2021 photo album.


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  • STEM News ~ 18th November 2021

    Published 18/11/21

    STEM News

    This term is incredibly busy for all of us at school, but the Year 13 scientists, in particular! All lab based experiments for the Internal Assessments took place in the first week of November. This year is our biggest cohort ever with 60 students in physics alone. With all students completing a unique experiment the variety of activities across the different labs really was a sight to behold! 

    Mr Villazon's Robotics Club is going from strength to strength. Sadly this term it can no longer be more than one bubble, so we are excited to see what the Year 8s get up to! Here they are coding Rovers:


    Ms Lusted, Stem Co-ordinator





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  • STEM News ~ 23rd September 2021

    Published 23/09/21

    It has already been a busy start to the year for ‘STEM’ers at BGS.

    Timetable of clubs

    STEM Club

    Years 7-8

    Tuesday, M16 at lunchtime

    Chemistry Club

    Years 7-9

    Thursday, M8 at lunchtime

    Engineering Club

    Years 10-11

    Monday, H2 after school

    Senior Science Society

    Years 12-13

    M6 at lunchtime


    Increasing Diversity in STEM
    We are all well aware of the stereotypes around what an ‘engineer’ looks like and the lack of diversity in some STEM careers. At BGS we are passionate about levelling the playing field and ensuring everyone has high aspirations and the opportunities to achieve them. There is an amazing program coming up, and I am pleased to help support our students in applying.


    Young Women in STEM - female talent programme 
    Female and non-binary students in Year 12 could get the opportunity to learn about the world of STEM through a series of group mentoring sessions, work experience and workshops. Plus meet the females leading top UK companies.

    With the option to nominate only ten students and only 100 places available nationally, competition will be stiff, but I hope to be reporting the successful application of our students in the coming weeks.


    Engineering Club - Special Event
    Open to all years! ‘I’m an Engineer, Get me out of here’ SPACE edition!

    When? Monday 18th October 3.15pm- 4.15pm Where? H2

    We will be chatting live to real engineers who work in the field of space exploration and observation. Please email if you are interested in joining us for this event.


    The Senior Society
    The Senior Society has been researching and taking it in turns to present on topics of their own choosing and are looking at attending some online lectures.

    You can join these lectures too using the link:

    The Senior Science Society is a group of Sixth Form students that gather together once a week to present and discuss a range of scientific topics. From next-gen fighter jets to new Covid treatments, it provides an opportunity for students to come together and engage with scientific news around the world, as science should not be limited to the classroom. Recently, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to deliver a presentation on Dementia and how cognitive stimulation in the workplace could lower the risks of developing the disease later on in life. The presentation allowed me to not only share new scientific knowledge with my peers, but also to start conversations about the validity of scientific experiments and what it means for a study to be “reliable”. If there is one thing I really enjoy about the Senior Science Society, it is definitely the discussions we have after presentations. Hearing the variety of viewpoints and passionate ideas that other students have is refreshing, and further amplifies my belief that learning science is about keeping in touch with the world around you and how it relates back to what you know.

    Shannen Sarkodie, Year 13

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