All our Stem Club Classes are currently full - to sign up to our waitlist please click HERE

2018 - Term Two - Week One - Electromagnetic Radiation

Welcome back everybody!  It's Term Two and hopefully we're all refreshed and ready for more STEM and Making goodness.

Stem Club has expanded (again) with 4 new groups joining us.  All the new sessions are run afterschool, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.  It's always great to meet new families and see some fresh faces.  As for our weekend groups, I'm very proud to be able to report that everyone has returned from Term One.  The continued support is very encouraging, thank you all!

To accommodate the new classes we also have a new tutor running some of the sessions.  Olivia Carline comes to us with a degree in Computer Science and experience teaching Code Clubs and Robotics to school groups.  Welcome Olivia, It's great to have you onboard.

The new groups started the term as we do with all our newcomers by assembling their wooden 'cubbie' boxes and designing a name tag for carving on the CNC machine.  We now have another (almost full) rack of new cubbies...

This is actually a photo from last term but I haven't quite finished carving all the new name tags so this will have to do in the interim.

Our returning weekend groups learnt about the "Electromagnetic Spectrum".  This is a session I've been mulling over for quite a while, as finding a way to cover this subject in an engaging fashion has proved challenging.  What we ended up doing was pulling out pens and a long roll of brown paper.  We created divisions along the paper that denoted the frequencies across the spectrum (10Khz up to 100 Exa Hertz).  We then talked and experimented with each major category...

  • Radio Waves
  • Microwaves
  • Infra Red
  • Visible Light
  • Ultra Violet
  • Gamma Rays

 ... before drawing/adding information about that category onto our 'chart'.

Here we have "The Unitatoes" just starting on "Radio Waves".

For radio waves we used a special receiver to listen in on the Wellington Airport Traffic tower.  Then as we worked up the spectrum we also tinkered with:

  • Heat Lamps
  • Incandescent Light Bulbs
  • LED Light Bulbs
  • Remote Controls
  • Night Vision
  • Black Light and Phosphors
  • The Doppler Effect
  • How We See Colour
  • Mixing Colours

We also talked about the level of energy that was generated by each category and what parts of the spectrum are blocked or filtered by our atmosphere.

By the end of the two hours all our groups had a glorious 3 metre long chart covered in useful doodles.

In the end they were great sessions!

So onwards with Term Two.  We're actually going to do the Blog slightly differently this term.  I've always liked the idea that some of the students themselves might be interested in documenting and writing about their work.  When I asked each class over the weekend there was no lack of enthusiasm!  So from next week we will have the students themselves putting this Blog together.  I can't wait to hear what they have to say.

Take care everyone!

 

Nigel