MP’s praise for East Ham school’s science club
- Credit: Archant
The work of young scientists at Plashet School’s STEM club is out of this world – quite literally.
As part of STEM week, the 40-strong club showed off their work to Neil Carmichael MP, the chair of the education select committee – including a design for space food that Britain’s very own astronaut, Tim Peake, has taken up with him.
There is a government push to get more girls involved in STEM subjects, which stands for science, technology, education and maths.
“Around eight per cent of STEM jobs are done by women, which is staggering,” explained Mr Carmichael during yesterday’s visit.
“I think the work of clubs such as this are very important, and you can see how much passion they have for the subject.”
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The after school club has been running for eight years, expanding from 25 students into a prestigious 40-strong group that the students must apply to attend.
As well as allowing girls at the Plashet Road, East Ham school to develop their skills, it provides a boost to college applications.
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Year 11 student Eman Ali has been a member of the club since Year 7 and hopes to study engineering, physics and maths at college.
“When I started, STEM club wasn’t that well known,” the 16-year-old said. “I was the only one in my form to join.
“Last summer, we went to Elutec [a design and engineering college in Dagenham] which is where I want to go now.
Year 10 student Ubeydah Shah, 15, added: “Going to STEM club, I have a real understanding of science.
“I’m not old enough to apply to college yet but I think it will help.”
At the other end of the spectrum is 13-year-old Nishat Basir.
The Year 8 student joined the club at the end of the last school year and enthusiastically reels off the projects she has been involved in since then.
“We’ve done lots of things I enjoy in STEM club,” she said.
“I find it really fun and I feel like it’s definitely inspiring.”
The club is run by Ann English, whose recent projects have seen the students create hydrogen-powered cars, design safer lorries and build pinhole cameras.
“The girls have all got different talents, and I try and bring that out,” she said.
“They all seem to really enjoy it.
“Last year, we were shortlisted for STEM club of the year and went to the House of Commons, which was a first for many of the students.
“It’s important for them to meet other people working in STEM and be inspired too.”