On Monday morning, I was at Claremont High School, in Harrow, London, watching as one of the architects responsible for building the Olympic stadium kept a class of 13 year olds enthralled about the design and engineering challenges involved.
Jo Smith from the firm Buro Happold was taking a lesson from Cisco’s Out of the Blocks StemNet programme bringing real world examples of how lessons about chemical structure; mathematics and physics were all very much challenges the stadium designers and builders has to overcome when designing the stadium and other venues for this summer’s Olympics.
Certainly the kids were spellbound and all, without exception, were vocal about how much they enjoyed how Jo and the curriculum had brought science, mathematics and engineering to life by linking it to the Olympics in a way they could all understand and visualise.
So I was not at all surprised to hear IOC president Jacques Rogge’s comments this morning that “London has raised the bar on how to deliver a lasting legacy.”
The legacy is not just in the wonderful facilities and structures the London Olympics will leave, but also in the legacy of children enthused and motivated to embrace science, technology, mathematics and engineering subjects at school. After all they are the future of the UK and the world.
Note: Cisco’s Out of the Block’s programme was launched in January, using London 2012 as a catalyst to encourage children aged 11-14 to get excited about learning maths and science. So far over 5,200 UK secondary schools have received a set of free Key Stage 4 activity books.