Tech teacher Jen wins top award

Jen Hughes teacher Shuttleworth (s)
Jen Hughes teacher Shuttleworth (s)

Jen Hughes is aiming to continue to light up Shuttleworth College after winning a prestigious award.

Technology Teacher Jen (29) recently went on a two day course at a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) centre in York on E-Textiles – about incorporating electronics into textiles.

The judges were so impressed with her action plan from the course that she won the Rolls Royce Special Merit Award, which included a prize of £1,000 for the Padiham school.

Jen has brought what she has learnt back to the classroom and her Year Seven students are now making ‘mini monsters’ which light up with LEDs when pressed, as well as cloth robots which will have lights and buzzers inside them, which her Year Nine’s are putting plans together for.

These have proved so popular that Jen, along with other members of staff, have started an after-school STEM-terprise club where students will make these textiles products with electronic gadgets which they can sell.

“The E-Textiles course was the best course I have been on,” said Jen.“I volunteered to go on it just to see what I could learn. I came back with all kinds of new ideas and I had to put an action plan together to show how I would transfer these into the classroom and enrichment activities.

“I got a phone call from the STEM centre to say my action plan had won the Special Merit Award and so Shuttleworth would receive £1,000 which is fantastic. I have now been entered into the overall Rolls Royce Science Prize for the chance to win another £5,000 as well.

“The students have loved mixing technology with other STEM subjects and the demand to spend more time making things like our ‘Mini Monsters’ has led to a new after-school club combining the Craft Club, Science Club and Maths Club.

“STEM-terprise is a club where the students can learn about science and textiles, as well as using business and marketing skills. They will sell the items they make and hopefully the club will become self-sufficient.

“It’s also about promoting STEM and raising its profile both in school and as part of our enrichment programme with the primary schools.”