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Welsh broadband firm brings interactive STEM programme to south Wales schools

Pupils in the Vale of Glamorgan have become the first in Wales to benefit from new science education workshops provided by Wales’s home-grown internet company, Ogi.   

Delivered in collaboration with leading interactive education practitioners, Science Made Simple, the new programme brings broadband technology to life, helping schools to embed ultrafast connectivity and showcase the real-life application of STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) subjects throughout the new curriculum. 

Some circuit boards and a batteryThe initial pilot programme launched during the autumn term with three schools in Llantwit Major, coinciding with the completion of Ogi’s initial broadband works programme in the Vale of Glamorgan town.

Classes of pupils from years 5-9 from Ysgol Gymraeg Dewi Sant, St Illtyd Primary School, and Llantwit Major Secondary School took part in the pilot, designed and delivered by Science Made Simple and engineers at Ogi.  

Sarah Vining, Head of Brand and Engagement at Ogi, said: “We talk a lot about the benefits of ultrafast broadband here at Ogi, and this initiative gives pupils the opportunity to build their own piece of the puzzle; learning more about the technology they use each and every day.” 

At Ysgol Gymraeg Dewi Sant, following an assembly that introduced using the electro-magnetic spectrum to transfer information – showing how light travels through fibre – pupils took part in an electronics workshop where they built and soldered their own slice of a network, emulating the delivery of data using a circuit board, resistors, capacitors, transistors and LEDs.  

Ms Pearson, year 5 teacher at Ysgol Gymraeg Dewi Sant, said: “We are always excited when there are opportunities to further develop science and particularly the STEM suite of subjects in our school. The interactive workshops provided ‘real life’ opportunities and the support Ogi offered during the session was so inspiring, thought provoking and gave pupils a tangible example of how electrical circuits are used in our everyday lives.

“The echo of enjoyment, confidence and discussions following the session showed the impact the team had on all learners.”

A child holding up a circuit boardSession leader, Dan Reed from Science Made Simple, said: “It was great to see pupils getting stuck in, learning new skills like soldering, and seeing the theory in reality as the session went on. Their enthusiasm is so inspiring. Everyone left with a working kit to take home to show their families. We had lots of smiles by the end of the day.” 

Following the successful pilot, Ogi is now looking to expand the programme to schools across south Wales in 2023.  

Ogi’s Sarah Vining, added: “This is a generation who were heavily reliant on broadband and connectivity for home schooling, entertainment and support during the pandemic. So, while broadband is brilliant for gaming, and keeping in touch with friends, we want to create excitement about the technology behind the ‘magic’ too, inspiring a new generation of engineers and data scientists.    

“These groups have shown a real understanding and appreciation for the inner workings of a broadband connection, taking nothing for granted as they explore the science that continues to keep them connected to the world around us.

“That’s why it’s essential we continue to help schools access opportunities like this, which demonstrate the real-life application of these vitally important STEM subjects.”

The internet company is now using feedback from the initial pilot to help design the next phase of the programme roll out in 2023.

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