Sailors Helping Children Learn STEM

Sailors from HM Naval Base Devonport have been keeping school children from Plymouth busy over half term with an afternoon of learning about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) at Crownhill library.

The local children, ranging from ages 4 up to 9, were hosted by STEM ambassadors from the base who took them through their paces with a series of fun and stimulating challenges. They were joined by some of their parents and even one grandparent, who enjoyed the snap circuit tests that introduced them to electronics.

On hand to give engineering advice as well guide and inspire the young curious minds, were Royal Navy Petty Officer Lynsey Wilkie, Able Seaman Eve Morley and Lieutenant Commander Linda Lawrence.

Working with specially designed electronic circuit kits containing a plethora of numbered connectors, wires, lamps and batteries with over 500 connection possibilities, they happily constructed circuits to power flashing intruder alarms, buzzing alien alert sirens, spinning rotors and even Happy Birthday tunes!

“I wanted to make sure we had an audience,” said Lt Cdr Lawrence, who brought along her own daughter Abigail and attends Widey Court Primary School. “It’s a great opportunity to get kids thinking methodically and work together alone or in pairs and achieve an aim, especially with others they’ve never met before.

“Will the light glow and set the alarm sound? If not, what is wrong with the set up? It’s all about allowing them to ask, WHY? , and relating STEM subjects to things around them in everyday life.”