With the exhibition behind us, the planning team continued to move the project forward. Pupils, parents, staff and other stakeholders basked in the glow of their successes and followed the extensive local media coverage. One of the local parishes compiled a double page spread on the Marvellous Movers project and exhibition bringing it to an even wider audience.
On hearing about the success of the project, Sentinus invited the children to enter their Marvellous Movers project into the NI Junior Innovator’s Competition in June. A number of Primary 7 pupils have agreed to prepare a pitch for the competition and present it along with the models on the day.
Visiting inspectors from ETI were particularly impressed with the way the project, though STEM based, managed to encompass the width of the curriculum. They felt that it incorporated elements of literacy, numeracy, PDMU, the arts and physical education. They acknowledged the huge undertaking of organising this project, due to its scale, as it involved every single child from both schools. They were very complimentary about the innovative approach shown by the planning team. They considered the involvement of the local post primary school, Dominican College, through pupil mentoring and resource sharing as an excellent example of good practice.
With the exhibition complete, a number of school based displays were created which has allowed the children to continue to browse their work and reflect upon it in a more informal environment. They continue to be enthused by the experience, are reflective of their learning and show an understanding and knowledge of the design process from ‘explore’ through to ‘celebrate.’
The planning team got together to prepare for the final Rolls-Royce visit which will be on the 23rd May. This visit will allow Rolls-Royce the opportunity to get a first-hand overview of the project. While visiting, they will be creating a short video in preparation for the Rolls-Royce 2017 Science Award Ceremony in October of this year. Visiting the school will be, Phil Cockbill and Chris Horsley. They will also get the opportunity to meet with the pupils and staff of both schools and of course the planning team.
One of the most important tasks during May was to identify and determine the impact of the project on learning and attitudes towards STEM.
The planning team collected and collated statistical information from the key participants. Firstly, pupils and staff were asked to complete an evaluative questionnaire on the project. Secondly, the perspectives of the key stakeholders were established from a focus group, thirdly evaluative verbal comments were sought by pupils and teachers on video, fourthly visitor comments were recorded at the exhibition. The focus group included 2 pupils, a teacher, a parent and a governor from each school. As a result of this, the data collected supports our own assessment that the project was a complete success. In addition, all stakeholders clearly indicated that success wasn’t limited to making a final moving vehicle; it was the learning process and journey experienced by pupils and staff that was the REAL success!
“The best bit was the scope of the project. We want to encourage their imagination and their curiosity while ensuring their ideas are achievable and realistic. It was good that the children dreamed big but they soon realised that they would have to squish these ideas to achieve a working model.” (Governor at Focus Group)
“The hardest part was choosing which design to use and how it would work. We changed it and then left it and then made changes to it again. We changed it completely about 5 times.” (Key Stage 2 Pupil at Focus Group)
The Planning Team…
Miss Pillow, Miss Gilmore Ms Murray and Mrs Quiery collated photo stills, sifted through many hours video recording, prepared a script and recorded the voice over and then pieced it all together for the storyboard to be sent to Rolls Royce media department. Something we would not have dreamt of being in the position to do at the beginning of the project! Mrs Shaw, Dr Greene and Miss McGoldrick compiled the May blog and collated all final expenses. The entire team met to analyse and interpret the data collected for use in our final evaluation submission.
In both schools, we intend to develop enquiry based learning in every classroom so as to create positive STEM experiences for all our children. It is believed that the framework provided by the planning team and the experiences presented throughout this project will have enhanced the skills and confidence of the teaching staff. This will allow them to identify opportunities to promote the teaching of STEM within real life contexts and across the curriculum. The long term aim is to ensure the delivery of a thought provoking STEM curriculum for all ages.
Following on from the success and positive feedback of the Marvellous Movers project, we will continue to work collaboratively in joint ventures. Our Board of Governors have committed to creating a subcommittee to ensure that future shared projects will be promoted, supported and celebrated. The Marvellous Movers logo will continue to be our brand identifier for these future shared ventures. We will be establishing a joint STEM club with the 2 schools and will be working together to identify shared ECO School targets. The project has successfully ensured that the children have developed informed opinions about the importance of recycling/reusing and the use of renewable energy sources. They are determined to continue to be proactive in ensuring that they are doing everything they can to make a difference to improving the environment. One idea that has already been identified has been to monitor energy efficiency within the school and the local community. We have no doubt that all our pupils will continue to keep the flame of environmental awareness lit.
Thanks to Rolls-Royce
Both schools are deeply appreciative to Rolls-Royce for the opportunity which has been offered as a result of their Science Award. The support from the Rolls-Royce team and its ambassador, Tony Sweeting has guided us through the process, keeping us on track and focused on our target. Their prize fund has allowed us to acquire a wide range of scientific resources for current and future learning. The planning team benefited from the rigor that has been a necessary evil of the deadlines of a competition, providing us with a framework and a structure to meet each stage of the process.
A Final Thanks
To everyone who supported this project - our stakeholders – whether you offered your time, your expertise or your resources – we offer you our deepest gratitude. Every word of encouragement, every idea offered, every act of kindness / support was and is valued. Your support has resulted in this marvellous project.
The completion of the Marvellous Movers project is a direct result of the commitment, enthusiasm and expertise of all the staff in both our schools. What an amazing and professional group of people to influence and lead the young people of our community. Thank you.
Finally, to all our wonderful pupils. Your energy, your creativity, your vision has been the real driving force behind this project. Each one of you has been an essential part of the design process that has resulted in the creation of a vehicle that was significant, that was special, that was MARVELLOUS. We are incredibly proud of all your efforts. You, our pupils, are the real MARVELLOUS MOVERS!