The SML STEM Academy is the first after school club of its kind in Ireland. We offer our students a chance to experience the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths in a fun, challenging way. Each week, our members learn about different areas of STEM and use our vast array of resources to tackle that week’s latest problem. Below are some of the areas the students take part in:

VEX Robotics – we have been part of this since the pilot year. This involves designing their own robot from a kit and catering it to the game challenge of that year. It also incorporates a coding element to it, similar to Scratch which we teach the pupils.

3D Printing – our newest purchase in STEM! Our students will be learning how to use basic CAD to actually print out their own creations whatever it may be.

Augmented Reality – to teach about digestion, for example, you can put on these t-shirts which when used with an app can make it seem as if you’re looking into an actual body.

Forensic Science – crime scene. Using a kit, we solve a murder and learn about fingerprinting, blood identification, DNA, and much more along the way.

Structural Engineering – we have Keva blocks and a bridges kit to create certain structure and test their load bearing capacities.

Cells – we teach the students how to use microscopes and look at differences between plant and animal cells. We also show how to take a cheek sample and view their own cells under a microscope.

Electrical Engineering – Snap Circuits are used to introduce basics on electrical circuits. We now offer breadboards and a lot of resources (LEDs, resistors, ICs, etc) to create more advanced and realistic circuits.

Lights & Optics – using prisms and different lights we teach about concepts like reflection and refraction.

Egg Drop – we did this project last week. After showing the boys basics about crumple zones and impacts we gave them a challenge to design a protective case to save an egg from cracking from a 2m drop (they had lots of resources to choose from).

Spaghetti and Marshmallow Challenge – using 1m of tape, 1m of string, 20 pieces of spaghetti, and 1 marshmallow groups must build the tallest structure possible which can support the marshmallow on top.