Nord Anglia Education
Nord Anglia
30 September, 2021

Curiosity - The key leading to amazing STEAM moments

Curiosity - The key leading to amazing STEAM moments BVIS HCMC | NORD ANGLIA - curiosity-the-key-leading-to-amazing-steam-moments
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I have been so impressed with the submissions of our EYFS and Primary students. The creativity, the resourcefulness of using materials available to them (especially in lockdown), the consideration of sustainability and wellbeing within their designs, and the ability to create and build things using their practical skills was extremely impressive. However, the island is just the beginning of the challenges with plenty more opportunities for students to embrace collaboration and creativity, and to develop the skills and interdisciplinary knowledge they will need to thrive in our fast-changing world.
Mr James Chandler
Whole School STEAM Teacher
Curiosity - The key leading to amazing STEAM moments

STEAM is an approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. Although often taught separately, these combined can become powerful tools that have changed and shaped the world around us.

A great way to introduce the innovative STEAM curriculum here at BVIS is through exciting STEAM challenges - a way of encouraging creativity and thinking outside the box, giving opportunities for students to use trial and error to create exciting new things.



Just take a moment to reflect on the past and how we have learnt to overcome the difficulties that we face. Look around you right now and see how many natural products you still see and use? I assume not many… in fact how many products do you see that are older than 10 years? This is an interesting question to reflect upon and one that leads to the question of who will bring about these changes are why? (Obviously, I am thinking of our BVIS students and our alumni!)

But the truth is that the products you see today are not perfect because they have been designed and manufactured to constraints.

Designers design with constraints in mind and often these constraints are due to limited money, existing manufacturing capabilities and materials, being environmentally sustainable or just the time it needs to be completed by. These constraints result in products not being 100% perfect or ideal, and over time products improve because these constraints will change and be overcome. Being able to design, problem solve and create solutions that work around constraints is a skill, and one that involves understanding many different elements of the world we live in.

Take the challenge I have set our KS3 students for example. Students have been given a need in the market to design and manufacture a slot together 3D puzzle of an Alebrijes.

Alebrijes are Sculptures of Fantastical Spirit creatures that originate from Mexico. They are very famous, but surprisingly as yet have not been developed into the wooden common slot together 3D puzzles you find on the market...until now that it! Students have been given the task to research, design, model and make their very own BVIS themed slot together with Alebrijes. Students will then over the year develop their chosen product into a fully packaged and marketable product. Students have already had an insight into the business world with the support of the BVIS Business Department along with a presentation by the Science department on the importance of understanding the physics and specifically of centre of gravity in order to make their models stand up unsupported.

The next stage will be to convert their cardboard models into CAD (Computer Aided Design) models so that we can then laser cut the designs to manufacture them to the desired quantity and quality. Watch this space….



Our approach to STEAM learning at BVIS helps children explore multifaceted challenges through fun and engaging hands-on activities that have hidden depths that can be explored regardless of your age. Especially as many of these challenges are based on real world problems that we are currently facing globally.

No single person can change the world, but if enough talented minds are put together to solve problems – if we share knowledge, and exchange ideas with one another – then seemingly incremental progress can gradually transform into great leaps.

Take the latest Build an Island Challenge for example. This challenge is based around the theme that our homes, here in HCMC, are constantly flooding and in the not-too-distant future could become unhabitual, especially if we don’t do something about it. This challenge has instantly recognisable links with Global Warming, but on other levels this challenge links within the topics being taught within student lessons (Year 5 – Migration/Climate Control / Year 2 Transport / Year 1 Buildings), along with embedding the other NAE themes such as the UN Global Goals and MIT “Extreme Weather” challenges.


Which leads me back to the start and wondering what products you looked at in your home and whether you had the curiosity to look back at its history and determine what were the key STEAM moments in its development; and more importantly would you be able to take it to the next development that we will all be looking at in our homes in years to come?

- Mr James Chandler, Whole School STEAM Teacher  -