#TogetherToZero With St Helens Chamber

by The STEAM Team

29 July 2022

As part of the #TogetherToZero inactive from St Helens Chamber of commerce, CreativeHUT delivered 9 STEAM education experience days to 1,000 students from 7 different schools across the St Helens region.

#TogetherToZero is Liverpool City Region’s commitment to becoming Net Zero carbon by 2040. A big part of this involves working with local schools to raise aspirations for young people to pursue exciting sustainable career opportunities in the local region. The teachers from each school had plenty to say and were often blown away at just how much the students engaged with the day.

”The kids who struggle to engage and find open ended problem solving challenging have been more focused. Kids learn differently, and it's on days like today you really see it." Teacher - Beneficiary School.

Throughout the project, CreativeHUT inspired primary and secondary students to develop a passion for STEAM subjects and drove awareness of exciting employment opportunities, including local employers Pilkington and Glass Futures. We also challenged students to discover how they can use STEAM skills to solve some of the biggest problems affecting climate change.

Each day involved a series of presentations and workshops explaining #TogetherToZero, the importance of STEM skills in the future job landscape and the opportunity to explore 21st-century skills such as critical thinking, communication and problem-solving.

Hands-on workshops provided the opportunity to work in teams, building and coding robots built using LEGO® Education SPIKE™ Prime. Students then programmed the robots to achieve several Net Zero themed challenges across a map featuring some of St Helen’s most famous landmarks. During the project it was great to see members from St Helens chamber experiencing the impact delivered. Anita, Project Professional, had this to say on behalf of the project:

” We all felt the project was a complete success, the students from both primary and secondary schools really enjoyed themselves. The trainers were inspiring and engaging and kept the students challenged throughout the session. Students who would not normally work together interacted with each other and had fun”

One of the challenges on the map above required the robots to pick up a hydrogen fuel cell and take it safely to the bus depot to power a zero-emission bus network. 

It was amazing to see the students build their robots from scratch and then learn how to program basic moves like moving forward and completing turns. Once students mastered the basics, they quickly developed and coded extra attachments required to meet some more challenging missions.

At the end of each day, students were briefed on an innovation project and then spent the final hour experiencing various STEAM education workshops, including exploring forces and motion by building LEGO® cars, programming a robot to drive through a maze with Sphero and using communication skills to build a giant LEGO® mosaic of the earth.

The innovation project will be presented and reviewed by June in time for a celebration event on the 7th of July. The teams will be identifying how to reduce our carbon footprint by researching and solving some of the most significant issues causing carbon emissions on our planet. It will be incredible to see some of the ideas the students come up with and how the students feel about reaching the goal of Net Zero by 2040.

#TogetherToZero was an exceptional project for CreativeHUT. It was fantastic to be part of a program that allowed young minds to realise how important STEAM skills will become towards building a more sustainable future for the planet. Throughout the two weeks, we witnessed so many “ah-ha” moments and saw an unbelievable amount of confidence grow in the students, including many who initially doubted their ability to engineer and code. But we will have to leave you with some of the quotes we had from the most important people from the project, the students themselves. Statements like these are why we do what we do:

"When I saw my robot follow my program, it was like watching a baby walk for the first time."

"The best day in school ever!"

"I wasn't fond of coding, but now I'm really good at it."

"All I care about is saving the environment."