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Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths

STEMPlus is an exciting series exciting series of masterclasses delivered by Wakefield College for local Key Stage 3 students. Our FREE masterclasses are fun, informative and inspiring, and delivered during the school holidays. Students will have the option of participating in a range of challenging activities in STEM and digital industry related areas.

Who is it for?

STEMPlus is available to students at local secondary schools with a love of all things STEM and/or digital. The sessions build on existing knowledge and challenge students to try new projects, and give an idea of the type of activity that industry professionals undertake. The programme is ideal for high attaining students at school or students with a genuine interest in a STEM or digital industry related career.

How does it work?

STEMPlus is designed to give students the opportunity to access areas of study beyond their classroom at school and build on existing knowledge in subjects that interest them – subjects that may lead on to further study at College and University and ultimately into a rewarding and enjoyable career.

It also gives young people a first taste of college life and an opportunity to take part in lessons delivered by new teachers and in new surroundings.

STEMPlus activities will be delivered during half term in October, February and May over a two-year period for students in Year 8 and 9. Students will participate in up to 6 sessions over the two-year period. Students amassing over 20 hours will be rewarded with certification and a reward voucher at the end of the programme.

Faye Banks
Faye Banks
What subjects are available?

As the name suggests the focus for STEMPlus masterclasses are Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, with other digital and technological industry related subjects also being offered. Below are the pathways that will be available each year. Click on the title to find out more information about what the masterclass will entail.

DNA Detectives

In this session you will learn about the structure of DNA and how it controls cells actions. This will involve making an edible model of DNA, along with other DNA related puzzles and looking into the history of the discovery of DNA. You will also be carrying out an experiment that allows you to collect and observe DNA from a range of different fruits.

Forensic Chemistry

Take part in this hands-on session and find out the part science and forensics plays in determining the cause of death.

You will perform several qualitative and quantitative analytical techniques with the aim of figuring out the cause of death.

Have you ever wanted to be a games developer?

Come create your first game from initial ideas through to finished product. You will undertake every element of game development including coding/scripting in the industry standard Unity game engine and sprite/asset creation in Adobe Photoshop. With the help of industry professionals Chris and Charlotte, you will be given a taste of what it’s like to be a game developer. No previous experience needed just a good imagination and a strong work ethic.

Don't just play games, come and make them.

Water Works Challenge

The water that comes out of your tap is clean, filtered by systems set up by civil engineers at special water treatment plants.

Your challenge today is going to be to make your own water treatment plant and pipe network using allocated items, and from this determining flow rates.

Spaghetti Skyscrapers

Your goal is to build a tower 150cm tall. You will have to think carefully about how to support your tower, especially lower down, so it is strong and stable enough to get to that height?

Short Film Production – 1 Day to Make a Movie!

Have you ever wanted to create your own movies? This practical session will enable you to plan, shoot and edit a short film. In the morning, you will be taught the basics of screenwriting and storyboarding. In groups, you will then devise and plan a short film idea. The afternoon session will then be spent making your idea a reality as you film and edit your own version of your masterpiece!

Studio Portraiture and digital image manipulation. ‘Strange Selfies’

Have you ever wondered how you might take the ultimate form of selfie? Have you ever wanted to work in photographic studio? This practical session will enable you to get away from the automatic settings on cameras and take a more professional approach. Within the morning session we will address the basic camera controls and how light is captured as well as the underlying principles of composition. Students will devise ideas for their own self portraits and utilise the studio to realise their ideas. The afternoon session will consist of digital image manipulation within the Photoshop framework. Students will learn to identify tools within the interface and use them to manipulate their own self-portraits in abstract and possibly surreal ways.

Interest in Crime Scene Investigation and forensic roles has grown rapidly in recent years. With technological advances within the field, police forces have been able to increasingly utilise the power of forensic techniques to assist in solving crimes.

A Crime Scene Investigator (CSI) work closely with investigating officers to gather forensic evidence from crime scenes that will ultimately lead to the detection and prosecution of criminals. A CSI process crime scenes using specialist techniques to visualise, capture and recover evidence as part of an investigation.

Keen observation and problem-solving skills are paramount. CSI’s need to be able to break down seemingly straightforward problems into their component parts and determine the appropriate action.

The aim of the session is to highlight the roles of a CSI and some of the likely processes that are involved in their work.

Codes and Ciphers!

Have you ever wanted to send secret messages that only you and your friends can understand? This masterclass will introduce you to codes and ciphers. Codes and ciphers are forms of secret communication.

Secret writing has been used for about as long as writing has existed. Codes have been used throughout history whenever people wanted to keep messages private. It is used by governments, banks, the military, businesses, and organizations to protect their messages and information.

Learn how to send and receive these messages!

Remixing and Production

In this session, students will develop new skills and ultimately produce remix in their chosen genre. This is a practical session that aims to equip students with the ability to edit, arrange and manipulate audio using industry specialist kit including Logic Pro X. Key elements of the day will be:

  • Time stretching audio regions
  • Sequencing and arranging audio and MIDI
  • Use of creative effects
  • Mixing and mastering techniques
It doesn't take a degree in ROCKET SCIENCE to figure out…

What are your thoughts on humanity reaching out beyond Earth? Is it worth it? How much engineering and maths is there really in rocket science? In this session you will test your understanding of physics and maths by applying it to solve equations and test your own designs of rockets.

You will be tasked with discussing current issues surrounding space exploration and travel, solving problems by using algebra and designing, building and launching your rocket using collaborative approaches.

Why are people obedient?

Ever wondered why people do what their parents tell them to? What do you think you would do if you were asked to electrocute someone?

Psychology can help us to answer questions like these and in this session, we will have a look at what Psychology research can tell us about why people obey others. We will also look at how Psychology can explain people doing harm to others and the links Psychology has to the Second World War.

We Are What We Drink!

On average, we each drink 8.3 litres of energy drinks per year; an increase of 185% since 2008... surprised?

Energy drinks can be useful when you're training hard and need an extra boost for a tough session. They can also be used as a quick pick-me-up during a slow afternoon, but it's vitally important we do not become over reliant on them. When used in the right context, consuming energy drinks in moderation as part of a balanced diet can have advantages, however if abused can have dramatic, lasting effects.

This session aims to highlight what goes into energy drinks to make them taste so good whilst more importantly, looking at what happens to your body after having one.

If you have passion for nutrition and/or drink energy drinks en masse…this is the session for you...


Have you ever wanted your own website?

In our Computing masterclass you will learn how to plan the production of a website to a given brief. In the morning session student will complete a range of tasks including design ideas on paper before creating a digital version in Photoshop.

In the afternoon session, you will learn the language of the web (html) and turn your ideas from the morning session into an actual webpage using html coding language. Bring yourself, a pencil and some creative thinking and we will have a great day!

Students can follow a specific pathway or ‘mix and match’ over a two-year period. There is no cost to student/parent or school and attendance is completely on a voluntary basis.

Student working together
Student in a science classroom

Local Ambassadors

As the leading provider of further education in the District, we are proud of our links with industry, and those links will be utilised to support STEMPlus. We have a number of local industry practitioners who are supporting the programme and we want to share information about Higher Education and job opportunities in STEM with participants.

One of our ambassadors is Faye Banks, a former apprentice and Wakefield College student who won the prestigious Woman Engineer of the Year in 2005 Faye is currently working in her dream role as North East Electrical Transmission and Asset Manager for National Grid.

I feel honored and privileged to be working as a STEM abassador at Wakefield College. We share the same values and have a shared vision of what engineering opportunities will be available to future generations. I am looking forward to utilising my industrial experience to support students in the Wakefield district, and helping engineers of the future.
Faye Banks
Local Ambassador
Faye Banks