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STEM Learning Magazine: Post-16 and FE - Summer 2016

Pioneering technical services are explored in the cover article of the summer issue of STEM Learning Magazine for Post-16 and FE sectors. Other articles describe changes to A levels and GCSEs,  provide advice on conducting A level biology practicals, and look into investigating radiation levels from space. There is...

The Scratch patch - substitution cipher

This project, exploring basic encryption, is a useful introduction to data security as well as iterating through strings to manipulate them. The program create a ‘substitution cipher’, one of the most basic forms of encryption. It also demonstrates that, for more complex chained commands, Scratch becomes rather...

The Scratch patch - error handling

This activity is an introduction to writing programs that can handle errors. It also helps students to understand number bases, by guiding them through the writing of a ‘base converter’ program.

Computers and maths in space

Mathematics plays a vital part in space flight, it gives us a way both to predict what should happen in the future and also ways to measure what’s actually happening in the present, and adapt to it. In this resource we look at a few places where maths helps in space flight. The maths is made simple here (it’s far,...

Building Images

In this activity, students create colour images from satellite data. This allows them to study how different surfaces reflect different wavelengths of light, how coloured images are created using an RGB model, and how band combinations can be chosen to examine a particular landscape effectively.

Solids, liquids, gases

The relationship between energy and states of matter is sometimes difficult for students to comprehend. This activity helps to reinforce the notion that, when energy is added to a system, the molecules themselves do not change but their motion and relative positions do change.

While the model is a...

Visual perception

Astronauts, and especially spacecraft commanders, must take in a huge amounts of information from displays and screens. Small changes in this information might indicate important changes that should be addressed, and missing the signs may have important consequences.

This simple activity challenges students...

Astronaut reaction speed

This activity includes a game-based approach to measuring reaction speed. Fast reflexes are vital to astronauts who may need to deal with rapidly escalating incidents and high-speed projectiles.

The effect of distraction on reaction speed is investigated – students collect multiple readings and take averages...

Introduction to VEX Robotics

In this full scheme of work, designed for a series of two-hour double-lessons, students develop a Mars Rover for NASA based on a standard VEX design. They learn about the components of a robotics system including control units and data communications, and work through a design process towards a prototype. The VEX...

Electro fashion: sewable LED kits

This booklet is aimed at KS3 teachers that want to offer wearable technology projects. It covers the following topics, conductive thread, LEDs and resistors, stitched circuits and press stud switches. Each of the tasks require little or no electronics experience. The information can be used to plan lessons or can...

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