Science & STEM
STEM teaching at the Academy aims to provide a solid scientific education in a way that is practical, enjoyable, interesting and challenging. We are keen to promote a passion for science and enquiry by developing good learning habits that will equip students with the confidence to adapt to future challenges. The percentage of students achieving grades 9-4 in mathematics in 2017 was 10% above national average.
Year 7 students undertake projects which include elements of science, mathematics, design and technology, and computing. The projects vary in length from a few lessons to half a term. Students are given the opportunity to work independently and are assessed against the entrepreneurial Aldridge Attributes.
There are also opportunities for students to work on STEM outside of the curriculum time. Students may get involved by attending afterschool clubs, visits, choosing the STEM programme during enrichment time or entering STEM based competitions throughout the year.
We have run several different STEM afterschool clubs: Design and Make, Astronomy, Electronics and the Natural Cosmetic Beauty Range. We are very proud that, through the students’ dedication and commitment to the various clubs, as well as invaluable help from staff and students from both the University of Sussex and the University of Brighton, the projects went on to win various competitions.
The STEM Centre received national recognition by winning the STEMNet award at a ceremony held at the House of Lords, where the prize was a trip to CERN in Switzerland funded by the Science and Technology Research Council. After winning the Gatwick Prize in Electronics, a group of students went on to reach the finals of the National Science and Engineering Competition 2016.
Exciting STEM projects have included Astronomy, where a former NASA astronaut Ken Bowersox visited the Academy; building a Greenpower race car; working in partnership with Groundwork South to develop an outdoor Shakespeare Garden and amphitheatre; and working with Ardingly College on their solar powered car project that was raced across Australia. By working in partnership with other institutions the PACA students get a much richer school experience as far more opportunities open up to them.