The Target Mars project completes its pilot run. We need funding to complete the main project targeting around 200 students
Imagine teams of six heroic individuals, embarking on a mission of gargantuan proportions. Our most popular is an ill-fated colonisation of Mars, wherein the event is introduced as a space race: teams of pupils represent different nations in their quest. The pupils need to cooperate to ensure success, but only one team can claim final glory. Teams must invest funds wisely and determine which of their team members have the skills required to successfully complete each of the challenges faced. Success in experiments and problem-solving tasks is essential. The pupils adopt techniques used in scientific research, as they face a terrorist plot, a disease outbreak, industrial espionage and a dangerous Martian expedition!
The excitement is tangible and the sense of competition strong. The experience is undeniably real and therefore more clearly remembered. Learning is not only fascinating: it is challenging and addictive!
There is a genuine concern about the dwindling numbers of students pursuing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) disciplines to further education. Our G&T events, offering excitement and real-life experiences, can help to nurture future scientists.
For example, events for Key Stages 3 & 4 require pupils to explore Redox reactions. Pupils use microchemistry, as used in laboratories around the world, to perform the reduction of copper oxide with hydrogen. This is followed by an investigation into the electrolysis of brine. They model ion migration, using animations in PowerPoint resources and then progress to the investigation of fuel cell technology, using a reversible PEM fuel cell in a model car.
By the end of the challenge, pupils are able to explain physical and conceptual models – with a focus on the applications for industrial processes and new technologies.
It really stretched every facet of pupil's intelligence and application. They truly excelled under pressure! The approach was diverse enough to present constantly changing and contrasting challenges. The presenter is not just a teacher, but a communicator through many different techniques that maintained interest, fun and maximum participation. Dave Read, Lead Teacher. Manningtree High School, Manningtree
An excellent event, thoroughly enjoyable and extremely well organised! It provided challenges for all abilities and allowed students to use a whole range of skills in practical, creative and scientific areas. The presenter is an excellent motivator who kept the students on task and encouraged them at every opportunity. Zoe Taylor, G&T Coordinator, The Herts & Essex High School, Bishop's Stortford
Fantastic stuff! The presenters have astonishing energy. Aspire arrived post SAT and GCSE preparation - and showed us, with skill, how to engage bright year nine pupils. Science is now definitely on the map and future science 'A' levels and university courses are now considered possible. The modern up-to-date equipment was excellent - never seen before in school and taught us as teachers, what can be possible. The content covered a huge range of skills covering many parts of the curriculum. The pace was excellent. The realism offered by using business and enterprise to organise groups and encourage teamwork is an inspiration! Mrs M Hughes, Lead Teacher, Saddleworth High School, Manchester
A brilliant experience for G&T students and staff! Students experienced an excellent programme with a variety of stimulating challenges. They also had the opportunity to work in teams with students from other local schools. Well organised, everything was provided and suited to task. Presented with enthusiasm, he motivated students to participate fully. Grace Andrew, Assistant Headteacher, Kesteven & Grantham Girls School, Grantham
A fantastic week - I'd do it again in an instant! activities combined the right amount of challenge and fun. There was a real buzz about the students from beginning to end. The students engaged well with the variety of resources. The fact that they were up to date and the practical resources were those used in industry was good. The presenter was really helpful throughout the set up and running of the week. I felt that I had input and a really clear idea of how and why the event was progressing.
Jane Anderson, Assistant Headteacher, Bishop Wand C of E School, Middlesex
Having seen most of the activities twice now I still find the whole thing exciting and motivating for the students. For them to still talk about it as one of the highlights one year on can only be a good thing. Pupils encourage, discipline and educate each other using this type of group work.
Martyn Stringer, GT Coordinator, East Bergholt High School, Colchester
'This was a once in a lifetime experience, which I will never forget. It was useful, fun and unique. I am proud of myself…it has definitely built my confidence, increased my knowledge and provided more interest in science. It has also helped me with my plans for my career and future'. N. Bibi, Year 10, Walshaw High School, Burnley.
PLEASE GIVE GENEROUSLY TO ENABLE MORE STUDENTS TO ACCESS THIS EXCITING STEM PROGRAMME