We held our third JEMS morning at Oxford High last week, which again involved Year 5 pupils from local primary schools and our own OHS Year 5 pupils doing challenging and stimulating technical activities together. JEMS stands for Juniors in Engineering Maths and Science and is an Oxford High School initiative led by Mrs Maria Whittington from the OHS Science Department.

  Our flourishing and well established  STEM outreach commitment recognises that the UK’s engineering and manufacturing industry is facing a future skills shortage, and that children form ideas of “suitable” careers at a very young age,so it makes great sense for us to respond to this challenge and broaden our outreach to include even more engineering and design activities to even more primary schools.    We were delighted that David Wilson Homes sponsored the event, so that 66 Year 5 pupils from Botley Primary School,  Cowley St James Primary School, St Francis Primary School, Wood Farm primary School  and Langford Village School could attend.   They were mentored by 23 super-motivated OHS Year 8 students for the whole morning, and everyone worked together with tremendous energy and focus on activities based on chemical engineering, construction and design.    Lord Mayor of Oxford Councillor Jean Fooks generously gave up her time to support the children and offered plenty of encouragement and advice along the way,  commenting  “As a scientist myself, I was very pleased to see the children clearly enjoying the challenges set before them in the fields of construction and chemistry”.

The feedback from the schools involved has been really encouraging, for example “It was absolutely brilliant and the children came back completely full of excitement and ideas, they couldn’t wait to tell everyone what they had been up to!”.   We’re very much hoping the partnership with David Wilson Homes might continue going forward, and are looking forward to our final JEMS morning  of the year next term.