What is STEAM education? Sha Tin College students found out first-hand by building model cars from scratch

What is STEAM education? Sha Tin College students found out first-hand by building model cars from scratch

The ESF’s first ever STEAM event asked students to come up with a solution to a problem, but let them figure out the method by themselves

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(From left) Jamie, Jared, and Nicole solder part of their motor's electrical circuit together.
Photo: Joshua Lee/SCMP

Students from Sha Tin College were hard at work building and racing their own model cars at the English School Foundation’s first ever STEAM event on Wednesday.

Students from Year 7 and the neighbouring Sha Tin Junior School took part in the event, which was held on Wednesday in the school’s main hall.

STEAM, which stands for "science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics", is a concept in education which encourages innovative and cross-curricular thinking.

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In teams of six, students were tasked with designing, building, and then racing a model car from scratch. Teams were assigned different methods of propulsion that they had to use when designing their cars. This included motors, elastic bands, balloons, or fans.

Team Streamline show off their Formula 1 inspired race car, powered by elastic bands.
Photo: Joshua Lee/SCMP

The event encouraged students to think in creative ways and solve problems on the go, as they only had limited time and resources to make their vehicle work.

Prizes were awarded to the fastest teams. There were also special prizes for creativity, innovation, health and safety, and best use of science.

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Teammates Nicole Wong, 12 and Jared Xin, 11, were assigned to work with motors as their method of propulsion, and chose to hold many parts of their car together with tape. “A lot of our ideas didn't really work so we had to modify and change it to work,” Nicole said. “We wanted to make it [rigid] as possible. It might waste time to hot glue everything together - tape is just faster,” she added.

Emily Ellison, 12, was part of a team that had to use elastic bands to power their car. She said she still enjoyed the event, even though they could not make their car move at all. “I would change the power source, and not have elastic bands. It's really hard to get power from the band,” she said.

Edited by Jamie Lam

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