Dwr y Felin School Science and Technology Newsletter Spring Edition

Welcome to the SciTech Newsletter

I am pleased to welcome you to our first "Sci Tech" newsletter, focusing on the Science and Technology Area of Learning Experience. The impact of science and technology on our lives is all the more evident in this time of lockdown, when we are using devices more and more to stay connected with each other during distancing. Science will lead how and when we can safely come out of lockdown. This highlights the need for Dwr y Felin pupils to develop their skills, so that they can become the scientists and technologists of the future. As head teacher, I am extremely proud of all of the efforts pupils have made in innovating, creating and analysing, across a wide range of activities. I hope that you will enjoy reading about all of the DYF SciTech news from the first quarter of 2020.

Mrs P Peet, Headteacher

GCSE Food and Nutrition

Key stage 4 pupils studying Food and Nutrition produced a wonderful range of dishes for their practical exam. They showed a high level of effort, skill and commitment in producing the food for their final qualifications. If they tasted half as good as they looked, they must have been delicious! Well done to all of the pupils for producing such professional looking final products.

Outcomes from the practical exam

GCSE Graphics Work

Year 11 Graphics pupils had a busy term creating Advertisments as part of their mock exam work. Pupils used design software Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to create their work. The outcomes look very professional and we are very proud of their efforts, da iawn!

Technocamps Workshops

The Year 10 Computer Science class have been working with Technocamps based at Swansea University to improve their computing skills during INSET days. They have learnt a variety of skills such as creating websites in HTML, making games in Greenfoot, creating programs in Python and even how to build a computer! All these skills will be invaluable to the pupils as they prepare for their exams at the end of Year 11 and will help them towards achieving the best grades possible. Mr Gravelle and Mr Davies would like to say a huge well done to all the pupils that came in when they would usually be on INSET to get involved and thank Technocamps for working with us.

Dwr y Felin Digital Leaders 2019/2020

The Digital Leaders Student Voice Group was established in 2016 at Dwr-y-Felin. Students are given the opportunity to give their thoughts and opinions on all things digital; they share their views on what is taking place digitally within school and offer their insight into the digital world they use outside of school.

This year the Digital Leaders have made big strides to improving digital technologies within our classrooms, and digital resources have been allocated differently throughout the school as a result of their recommendations. They have also helped to raise awareness and encourage being eSafety to all our pupils, sharing the importance of being eSafe with their peers during student assemblies. The Digital Leaders give the ICT their support during lunchtimes and they assist other pupils with their digital skills – This deserves the biggest thank you from the Computing Dept!

Diolch yn fawr to our Digital Leaders this year, and in particular our Chairperson - Emily Pearce and our Vice Chairperson - Corey Semmens. At a time where it seems the whole world is communicating via digital platforms, your work has made the learners in our school even more digitally aware.

STEM News- Spring Term

Girls in STEM have also been given the chance to visit and interact with TATA steel completing a number of problem solving activities, with our year 8 team being victorious throughout the 2 day programme. In the future students will be able to visit and problem solve with SONY in Bridgend.

Various STEM Competitions

Youth Industrial Strategy Competition- Year 9 students also had the opportunity to compete in the Youth Industrial Strategy competition. This encouraged students to think outside of the box and use their creative skills to solve problems and compete against other schools.

Sustainable Future Competition - In March students in 9Y were given the opportunity to work with Careers Wales’ Gareth Price and his team to produce a model using recycled materials that could transform sustainable living. Students were given an array of materials and were required to designate roles, design and present their ideas. The winning team from this day has been invited to participate in the regional finals in Swansea. They also have the opportunity to be mentored by Rachel from Coastal Housing, enabling students to work with professionals and develop their key transferable skills.

Salter Chemistry Competition- Year 9, 10 and 11 students also had the chance to participate in the Salter Chemistry competition hosted by University of Swansea as they pitted their subject knowledge and practical skills to against other schools. Dwr y Felin sent 2 teams all selected by their Chemistry teachers. The two captains did brilliantly working as a team and some of their practical skills were phenomenal. Well done on a brilliant representation of the school.

Links with Swansea University- Year 9 and Year 10 students have also had the opportunity to work with the Chemistry department at the University of Swansea to complete practical work seen more at ‘A’ level or 1st year undergraduate programme. These techniques included a complex titration to find the concentration of an unknown sample and light spectroscopy. The understanding of these techniques has helped to inspire and engage students ready for their triple Science studies.

F1 in Schools

Through the term a group of 12 students was chosen to represent Dwr y Felin in the Formula One in Schools competition. This was a fantastic competition in which students used CAD programmes to design models of formula one cars to a strict criterion. These designs were then constructed using a 3D printer. Students then had to develop and create designs for a logo, livery, a team name and ethos. They then put together a portfolio journal to show their progress, highlighting their triumphs and problem solving abilities. DYF’s team competed against 32 other schools within the South Wales area by racing their cars. This culminated into a 5 minute presentation to professionals within the engineering setting where students had to demonstrate their understanding of aerodynamics and the procedure that they used from designing to construction to racing. Mr Rayson is extremely proud of the commitment and effort that the students put into this project, with all students eager to help mentor next year’s participants. Both groups from Dwr y Felin were able to finish in the top half of the competition, a triumph for our first year entering against what some would call seasoned professionals. This gives us a glimpse of the engineers, doctors or astronauts of the future!

Careers Fayre

In February students were able to participate within a careers fayre where we were excited to invite Ian Spender from How and Spender solicitors, Fantom Factory, Liz Wonders NHS Midwife, Rococo Hair and Beauty, Jeremy Morgan from the Educating Engineering Scheme Wales, Caroline and Laura from Careers Wales, Cardiff Higher Education Roadshow, Technocamps, and NPT college with apprenticeships. This was a thoroughly enjoyable day with a lot of variety, hopefully helping some of the option decisions that occurred later in the month. Thank you to the external partners for engaging with our young learners offering interaction and answering questions and providing an enriching opportunity.

STEM Projects

Unfortunately with recent circumstances this has affected the progress of some of the STEM projects in which students were participating. However, there has been a number of highlights this term:

1) An app is finally coming together to help early onset dementia patients and their families, in which students have interacted with a scientist from the University of Leeds.

2) Material and printing of a survival utilities component has been sourced – something resulting from our work with Formula 1 in Schools.

3) Students have analysed the data from a long term project to see the effects of blue light on sleep. This could be brilliant for student sleep patterns especially towards exam time!

4) Students have been sourcing and designing a soap box racer from recycled and sustainable materials.

5) Links with the university of Swansea and Cardiff met university have been established to source materials from recycled plastics and simulating the effects of human genetics.

MIT @ DYF a Success!

Last year you may remember that Dwr y Felin had been successful to take part in an exchange programme with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This was for 3 weeks in January and was an incredible success. Aidan Faustina arrived at the start of January as a Physics major and philosophy minor student. Aidan gave his all during this time and worked with a variety of different activities with a full range of students taking advantage of this scheme. Aidan was key to the thematic project with 9H, team teaching and supporting each session. He helped to develop a Year 7 Physics STEM day in January where students had the chance to get hands on with 8 short sessions to help inspire and engage students in physics at an early age. Students in year 7 and 8 were absolutely enthralled with his philosophy sessions about personal choices and dilemmas such as “Would you pull the lever?”. Aidan also got hands on with Year 11 Physics, offering opportunities to go into deeper details on physical concepts. He contributed to construction with Year 10 and Year 11, offering these students understanding of his vocational education. He then linked up with NPT college and experience post-16 education within Wales. This programme was a brilliant opportunity for us to learn from Aidan and take some points of learning about the American education system and Aidan took a number of concepts from the Welsh education system like the freedom of choice and how much independent learning occurs during everyday education. This was explored during an evening with Kirsty Williams AM to discuss the challenges and ideas of the new curriculum. Even though he was only with us for a short time the impact that Aidan has made over his time was tremendous and will have longevity for years to come. Thank you to Aidan himself, Aled Thomas and Nicola Becker for hosting him, and Equal Education for providing this opportunity.

There are many, many new opportunities being worked upon during this time. Please keep your eyes posted for a new look web page for MAT and STEM with all of the recent information and success criteria that you may require.

Easy STEM Projects to complete at home during lockdown

James Dyson Foundation

Designers working with the James Dyson Foundation have devised a series of science and engineering tasks they say can help keep kids entertained during lockdown. The initiative, which is made up of 44 Challenge Cards, aims to provide young people with ample stimulation as families adjust to spending more time at home because of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent shut down of schools. https://www.jamesdysonfoundation.co.uk/resources/challenge-cards.html

Design Squad Global

Design Squad Global empowers pupils to solve real-world problems and understand the impact of engineering in a global context. Refreshed weekly with challenges, videos, and activities, the website is one of the only places on the web where pupils can share their engineering ideas with others.

Interactive STEM activities


For the latest news and information follow our departments on Twitter

Science Dept- @ScienceDYF

Design and Technology- @DYF_Tech_Dept

Computing- @dyf_computing


Created with images by Sara Kurfeß - untitled image