Balksbury Juniors take on a Stannah STEM challenge

Stannah is dedicated to education and career development at an early stage and works with schools and colleges to encourage an interest in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects. This month a team of Stannah STEM ambassadors, led by Programme Manager, Richard Baugh, helped year 5 pupils at Balksbury Junior School in Andover explore the dynamics of wind power.

As part of Balksbury’s STEM week, Stannah was invited to support a practical activity with 90 children. Max Woodhams, Lead Product Designer in Stannah’s engineering team, devised a wind turbine project for the school. Children were asked to build a model wind turbine to power a small LED light. Alongside the turbine, pupils were encouraged to build a model eco-house and demonstrate awareness of other eco measures.

Mike Newman, Group Learning and Development Manager at Stannah, said, “We believe that developing a passion for STEM subjects from an early age is crucial to igniting that interest that leads to a rewarding career in STEM fields. This is why we are keen to show children how these subjects can be brought to life through projects like this wind turbine challenge.”

The pupils created turbines of all shapes and sizes and had the opportunity to test their turbine blades using a fan during the build process. This helped them hone their designs and identify where blade design could be improved. Students also included solar panels, compost heaps, eco-friendly transport, gardens, ponds, luxury brand sponsorships, Ukrainian flags, pets and more in their final designs.

Stannah STEM ambassadors Jake Ellis and Sam Cook assessed each turbine, measuring and recording the voltage being generated and awarded extra points for general creativity and eco measures included in the overall design.

Through a combination of excellent turbine performance and creative executions, two teams were awarded joint first place. Hannah Nield, Science Lead at Balksbury School said, “We were so lucky to have Stannah join us in year 5 for our STEM project. Without the STEM ambassadors, I’m sure we would have had a much greater challenge on our hands. All of the members of Stannah’s team were so knowledgeable, patient and encouraging. It was a brilliant opportunity to work together and all of the children loved it!”

Projects like the wind turbine challenge are made possible with the support of the Joseph Stannah Foundation, which provides funding for initiatives that promote engineering and related sciences as a career.

For more information on the work of the Joseph Stannah Foundation or to apply for funding, visit:

Pernille Thomsen 19-07-2022