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School club is top of the class

PUBLISHED: 12:23 25 June 2010 | UPDATED: 09:50 01 August 2010

AN after school club has beaten off competition from hundreds of schools across the UK to be named the most dedicated in the way it has inspired the next generation of scientists.

AN after school club has beaten off competition from hundreds of schools across the UK to be named the most dedicated in the way it has inspired the next generation of scientists.

The STEM club at Bungay High School attracts around 15 year nine students every Wednesday who meet to broaden their expertise in science, technology, engineering and maths, by taking part in a number of exciting projects.

It is affiliated to STEMNET, which has 22,000 volunteers across the UK who give time and enthusiasm free of charge to develop students' creativity, enquiry and problem solving skills, while encouraging young people into STEM subjects and careers.

During Monday's annual award ceremony at the House of Lords the small club was named the most dedicated group in the country, collecting the coveted accolade from broadcaster and scientist Vivienne Parry.

The club were nominated by Ann Cloke from the Eastern Business Partnership who said it had shown great enthusiasm and commitment in involving its students in a wide range of activities.

The club was set up in September 2008 by teachers Nick Thomas and Richard Lewis and during the past two years students have taken part in a number of projects including the construction of a bridge using paper and sticky tape, researching the mounting of a remote telescope on the roof of the school and taking part in the tallest jelly competition.

Visits to the National Space Centre in Leicester, Lotus at Hethel and hosting a regional STEM club celebration event have also featured.

Sean O'Neill, headteacher at Bungay High School said: “The STEMNET club has now firmly established itself in the life of Bungay High School and has an excellent reputation amongst staff and students for involving itself in exciting projects.

“It has not only enhanced the curriculum and created opportunities for students to broaden their experiences but has also raised their aspirations.

Mr Thomas and Mr Lewis, said they were delighted to have been recognised nationally for the work they have done in setting up and running it. “Many factors have contributed to us enjoying a great two years of enthusing our club members in the subject areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, not least the strong support of the whole school who understands the great value of the club and what it stands for,” said Mr Lewis.

“We have been very grateful for the help and positive input of all the staff here at Bungay High School and obviously all the pupils this year and last who have made this such a fantastic activity. As a science college it is a great advert for the work we do here and we hope to keep up the success of the club for many years,” he added.

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