Pupils and staff at St Swithun’s School, Winchester hosted MESTival, a unique festival organised by staff at the school, on Wednesday 6 July which attracted over 1000 students and teachers from primary and secondary schools across Hampshire. MESTival is the first festival of its kind to provide young people with a thought-provoking and inspiring insight into STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
MESTival featured an exciting speakers’ programme, hands-on workshops and activities, as well as a STEMzone where MESTivalgoers discovered more about STEM-related courses, careers and products from visiting companies and universities. Students could explore 3-D printing, virtual reality headsets and flight simulators, talk to apprentices, new graduates and university professors. Outside, the sound of drumming emanated from one STEMzone, mixed in with the cries of students zorbing around the back field. Inside, small groups could be seen talking to science writers, computer programmers and airline pilots.
MESTival speakers included BBC science presenter, comedian and entertainer Helen Arney, television presenter and author Stefan Gates, Jon Macey, senior lecturer in Computer Animation from the University of Bournemouth, Dr Chris Budd, Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of Bath and Eleanor Schofield, conservation manager for the Tudor warship Mary Rose in Portsmouth.
A programme of STEMinars offered presentations and advice from a large number of other speakers. In addition MESTival visitors experienced displays and exhibitions by Rolls Royce, IBM, the British Army, the Royal Navy, Jaguar Land Rover, Vodafone, The Prudential, Hampshire Police and many, many more in the STEMzone.
Stephen Power, head of mathematics at St Swithun’s and one of the organisers of MESTival, said. “MESTival was a fantastic day, inspiring children from schools across Hampshire to think about STEM subjects in a new light. We were delighted to have so many high profile speakers and exhibitors attending the event demonstrating how studying STEM subjects can lead to a much broader range of careers and industries than perhaps children currently perceive.”
If you would like more information about MESTival, please contact MESTival@stswithuns.com or visit www.stswithuns.com/MESTival