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Seeking solutions through Steam Week

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On-site instruction: Jonathan Darrell, a supervisor at BCMcAlpine explains the importance of planning and design to the girls on the site of Bermuda High School’s Innovation Centre which is nearing completion (Photograph submitted)

Over the course of four days as the school year drew to a close, Bermuda High School secondary students took part in the school’s fifth Steam Week.

They worked in mixed year group teams to seek solutions to real-life problems through the five components of Steam; Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics.

On campus, the girls were able to choose projects including:

• Interior Design Challenge — present a proposal for various communal areas in the new Innovation Centre

• Dog Agility — work with dogs to plan, design and test an agility course that works in Bermuda given the climate and government rules

• Molecular Gastronomy — local chef Derek Myers instructed the girls and they looked at the science of food to make such things as fruit spaghetti and blueberry caviar

• Green Go Karts — two teams had to design and build solar-powered go-karts from scratch

• Reuse and Repurpose — students took second-hand clothing and looked at how they could redesign and make clothing using sustainable practices

• Doll House Design — create a doll house using recycled materials

• Escape Room — design and create a functioning Steam-themed Escape Room

• Three Days ‘til Curtain — is it possible to cast, produce and perform play in three days?

Outside of BHS, students worked across the island:

• Sea Turtles — the girls learnt about the sustainability and conservation of the turtles and looked at if we are able to grow enough Turtle Grass to support the growing turtle population

• Dance of Attraction — how do different animals attract mates? They spent time at Dolphin Quest and BAMZ and then built bluebird boxes (designed by alumnus Christian Chin-Gurret 2016) to place around campus

• Get Outside and Snap — this activity encouraged the girls to get outside and explore Bermuda and make memories and capture them on film

• Waterstart — the girls spent time on Burt’s Island and came up with ways to make it sustainable while keeping the environment clean

They also participated in a coastal clean-up and even launched a current drifter to monitor sea currents. At the end of the four days, students created a 90-second video which was shared in an assembly and each team described some of the issues they encountered and how they overcame them.

Deputy head of school and head of secondary, Catherine Hollingsworth, said to the students: “The variety of activities that the teachers have offered you, and the amount of work you all do over the four days is phenomenal. You are all so enthusiastic — thank you!”

During the projects, the girls encountered designs which didn’t work, recipes which did not taste good, budgets which were limiting, and even bad weather for the first time in five years!

Each issue encountered was part of the learning process, and strengthened the girls’ resiliency skills, something which BHS actively encourages from an early age.

BHS would like to thank the various community partners and parent volunteers who made Steam Week 2019 possible

A girl’s best friend: Ella Younie, BHS Y7 watches as Laura Tucker of Ettrick Animal Hospital puts Bobby through a training exercise (Photograph submitted)