Students from all three Partnership Academies took part in day-long courses aimed at gifted and talented scientists. The first, called Target Mars, was for Year 10 students while Dead on Time was aimed at Sixth Formers. The events were hosted at Brooke Weston with delegates from Corby Business and Kettering Science Academies.
During Target Mars the students considered problems in staging a manned mission to the red planet. They built a Mars lander, a wind turbine to provide power and a rover to navigate the planet’s surface. There were interactive quizzes and students accrued points for successfully completing different tasks. One team, Europe, scored one of the top five highest scores ever registered in the event.
Matt Hackett from Aspire.more able ran the courses on consecutive days. He said: ‘Dead on Time is a murder mystery based on real-life facts and using genuine forensic science skills. The Sixth Formers had to use their abilities to extract information and work logically. They had to be true investigators; interviewing witnesses, using methods from the past 100 years right through to modern techniques including DNA fingerprinting. It was a challenging event and we pushed participants to their very limits. There was a lot of pressure and teamwork required.
‘During Target Mars the Year 10 students were also superb and the scores from both days have been fantastic. We have a champions league table of the highest scores since 2007 for Dead on Time. The highest score from this event might get into the top five highest scores ever. Across the board the teams averaged a very high score, well above the average for schools.’
Teacher Mr Hawksley said: ‘The tasks developed creative thinking in Target Mars as they had to create practical solutions whereas with Dead on Time the focus was on critical thinking, finding the key evidence to help them solve the case. The students really threw themselves into both projects. They were in mixed teams, having fun and learning in the process.’