This year’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Day itinerary contained a packed programme of diverse workshops and activities for all age groups.

The UIII and LIV enjoyed the opportunity to handle a lovely range of small creatures including giant millipedes, giant cockroaches, a tarantula, a chameleon and the star of the show, the baby albino hedgehog.

The Light Fantastic Roadshow had girls from UIII to UIV enthralled with physics related trickery!

The LIV tackled the challenge of designing and making mini roller coasters for a marble that they had to keep rolling for as long as possible. Competition was fierce and the results were a spectacular display of imagination and ingenuity.

UIV girls experienced the process of designing and realising their own key-ring using the ‘Sketch Up’ CAD software and a 3D printer, all in a one-hour session. They proved very quick to master the skills and hopefully this will be the beginning of more work for many girls in this area.

At the Materials Science Workshop, the LV learned about smart materials, seeing some of them in action and being challenged to devise a commercial product using a particular smart material. Imaginative ideas included flip flops that change colour in relation to the temperature of the sand and an intelligent sofa which controls the TV channels!

The UV learned about the biomechanics of gaits; how the flapping of birds and strange walking style of lizards can be analysed and how we can learn from them. The trebuchet workshop was a hive of industry throughout the day.

LVI physicists designed and built their own catapults, testing and developing their ideas to produce large machines to fire bean bags across the sports hall.

Thankfully it was a beautifully clear and sunny day, which enabled the Gazelle helicopter to land on the Abbey lawn. This was the highlight of the day for many girls who watched it arrive and leave and also enjoyed looking up close and sitting inside.

The keynote speaker in the evening, Emily Cummins, gave an inspirational talk about her journey into a career of inventing and entrepreneurship. It was an inspiring story of how she came to be excited and was driven to invent and design things which would make life better, first for her grandad and then for people in the wider world.