Foundation's STEM lessons and challenges inspire kids

The Chelsea Foundation celebrated its unique Digital Blue programme at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday as 30 youngsters showed off what they had learned with a Sphero competition.

Digital Blue is one of a number of unique programmes run by the Foundation’s Education team, focusing on science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) with lessons and challenges including youngsters designing their own stadium and football boots and building their own remote-controlled robots.

Tuesday’s showcase event saw the students who have taken part in the programme explain the process behind the Sphero and how they coded the movement of the spherical robot, which is controlled via a smartphone or tablet.

The challenge for the day was to create a series of movements and recreate a Chelsea FC goal showcasing it to other schools and a panel of judges with Roehampton Church School named as the winners on the day.

‘Schools don’t always have time to prioritise STEM learning so it is great to be able to support them with a programme like this,’ said Foundation schools education manager Sam Gaskin-Kemp.

‘It is part of the national curriculum and is important as more and more jobs require these skills so we are not only helping students with jobs available now but also jobs of the future.

‘The kids pick up the basics for coding quickly as they respond well to the maths and angles and how both those factors relate to football.’

Teacher Holly Elvin, from Sellincourt Primary School, added: ‘We have had two workshops in the school for the last two Mondays where the kids have been learning about Sphero and coding and today they are putting that in to practice.

‘They are using their knowledge of variables, like the angles, timing and speed to code a robot to move around. It is great to see them apply the knowledge they have gained in the workshops.

‘We’ve done this sort of thing before but not in this way and this has opened my eyes at a different way to use it.  The kids are so excited to come here and work with Chelsea and I hope to work with them more in the future as it makes it very special for the children.’