STEAM trail opens in Cumbria

A government project to highlight the importance of STEAM subjects has opened in Cumbria

The STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and maths) trail has been opened at Westlakes Science Park, near Whitehaven, Cumbria.

It will give Key Stage 2 and 3 pupils (7-13 years) the chance to learn and increase their skills in a fun, outdoor environment.

It was designed by Design Code working with Rachel Suddart. Uniquely, it inserts arts subjects into the traditional STEM agenda.

Children from Valley Primary School, Whitehaven, were the first to road test the trail at an opening event last week.

Stuart McCourt, Sellafield Ltd’s education, community, and development lead, said: “We wanted to help create a unique and inspiring trail for primary school students.

“It will complement their school work by learning through real world examples.

“Westlakes is the perfect environment; it’s home to an inspiring mix of organisations who work with cutting edge technology and are surrounded by a stunning natural environment.

The trail is both physical and digital, with children able to walk around it and use a complementary app. The app was designed by students at Lakes College, in Workington.

The aim is to increase children’s understanding of how STEAM subjects underpin our daily lives.

Michael Pemberton, chief executive of NEC, the owner of Westlakes, commented: “We have fantastic surroundings at Westlakes. We’ve always been keen to make more of the paths and trails in the grounds with art installations.

“We believe the next generation of scientists and engineers will need creativity and artistic understanding to solve the challenges of tomorrow’s world.”

Adam Phillips, energy and community officer at BEC, added: “The addition of an interactive app has resulted in a user-friendly experience for students to explore and enjoy.

“We have linked the content to the age-specific curriculum so lots of it should already be familiar to many young people and the app includes questions that help them engage further.”

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