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Students trial new STEM game

Students trial new STEM game
Mrs Messenger and the group of Year 11s.
Students trial new STEM game
Learning about the components of a Kinder egg.
Tuesday 12th November 2013 by C. Freeman

Brooke Weston students have been the first to trial a new game about sustainability and the global impact of manufacturing. It was devised by the Centre for Alternative Energy in Wales and was trialled at Brooke Weston so students could give feedback before it gets rolled out to schools across the county.

The Year 11s split into teams to identify the components of a Kinder egg and the country of origin of each part. They then assessed whether the end product was worth the environmental impact its manufacture had entailed.

Head of Design and Technology Mr Browne said: ‘The students had to work out where all the materials came from and they found that it is hardly a sustainable product when you consider where all the resources originate. Sustainability is a big exam topic so this will give the students some memorable and practical examples.’

Julie Messenger, STEM consultant at Leicestershire Education Business Company said: ‘It gets students to think about the impact of products that they have made for GCSE coursework and the impact of products on the world. The foil covering the Kinder egg is made from bauxite which is an ore that comes from either Australia or south America. Then students have to consider where the cocoa beans are from. In the game we have chosen to put our factory in Belgium as it is renowned for its chocolate manufacture. Other components, such as the plastic capsule and toy, will probably have been manufactured in China and shipped over.

‘The idea is for students to stop and think about what they are designing and what impact their designs will have; whether the resources they use are sustainable or renewable. The students have responded very positively. This is the pilot scheme and I wanted to get a feeling for how students will respond to it so they are going to evaluate it and that will inform the next stage of the process.’

Student Kalina Marinova said: ‘It is difficult to know where to start because so much work goes into making such a small product and it is all about following all the global details, processes and materials that go to make the end product.’

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