I had this idea ages ago and I promptly wrote down then got on with doing other things and it soon faded into the low murmur at the back of my mind. It popped up again this morning as I was reading an article about building Lego robots and I thought that it be a fantastic basis for an engineering club, that jogged my memory and the STEM Cell idea bubbled up again but with new pieces added to the mental framework.

A cell can be many things, two of which are:

the functional basic unit of life

&

a unit of a clandestine cell system, a penetration-resistant form of a secret or outlawed organization

Wikipedia

A stem cell has the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body during early life and growth. In addition, in many tissues they serve as a sort of internal repair system, dividing essentially without limit to replenish other cells as long as the person or animal is still alive. When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential either to remain a stem cell or become another type of cell with a more specialized function, such as a muscle cell, a red blood cell, or a brain cell.

http://stemcells.nih.gov/info/basics/pages/basics1.aspx

STEM stands for Science, Technology Engineering Maths

The STEM Cell will be a group dedicated to experimenting with each of the four disciplines by using practical and creative activities and experiments to create or enhance an interest in one or more of the subjects. Much like a covert cell the can be copied and used anywhere and the experience enhanced by communication with other cells and information exchanged about experiments that have been conducted. Similar to stem cells themselves, a group such as this will allow its members to use what they learn to become anything as they grow and develop.

This type of group would by its very nature be cross-curricular and run in conjunction with the Science, Mathematics, ICT and Design & Technology Departments but organised by the Library.

Activities can include:

The Mentos and Diet Coke experiment

Raspberry Pi & programming

Code making & breaking – this one can be used for intergroup competitions

Mathematical Origami

Building Robots from Lego

Activities can be set up to run on a termly or half-termly basis depending on the length & complexity of the activity and the capability of the young people involved in the group.

At present I am still working on ironing out all the details but if anyone has ideas please feel free to leave them in the comments field below.

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