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School pupils to be put to the test at engineering extravaganza


STEM Ambassadors from leading institutions are staging an ‘Engineering Extravaganza’ to inspire the next generation of engineers.

As part of British Science Week, four professional organisations will stage an interactive fun day at the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre’s Knowledge Transfer Centre on Monday 13 March 2017.

It is the third time the event has been held at the AMRC and this year will attract more than 120 pupils from 12 secondary schools across the Sheffield City Region.

The young people will get involved in a number of challenges to put their problem-solving skills to the test, to show them that engineers play a leading role in solving the world’s problems, and to discover more about the broad range of exciting careers available in engineering.

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) and Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) will each set a hands-on challenge to get the school pupils to work in teams and provide engineering solutions.

The ICE will run the skyscraper challenge using Lego. The students will be tasked with designing and building a high rise structure to withstand the forces of nature and provide the best value for developers.

The IET challenge looks at the technology behind “vacuum tube trains,” capable of travelling at 4,000 miles an hour, as a lower cost alternative to air travel and will get the youngsters to engineer their own small scale vacuum tube train and show what forces will act on it.

The IOM3 challenge will explore how materials play a central role in our lives and have helped to change and improve the technology we rely on.

Meanwhile, the IMechE will be helping the teams of youngsters to build an air-powered model of the Bloodhound car, which is hoping to raise the World Land Speed Record to more than 1,000 miles an hour, and compete against each other to see which team’s model will go the furthest and fastest

TWI will also be providing a talk and a demonstration at their next-door facility on additive manufacturing and friction stir welding, showing students how it is being used to produce complex metal components for many exciting industries including aerospace.

Ian Crowston, a Chartered Engineer with IMechE, who is one of the event organisers, said: “This is a great event which shows our young visitors the exciting and varied careers which are possible by studying STEM subjects.

“The event has gone from strength to strength and we have seen more and more schools wanting to get involved which has led to a much bigger and better event being held at the AMRC every six months.

“It is always very rewarding to see how much the young people enjoy the day and learn from it.”

The day will also see the AMRC Training Centre support four tours for the students to find out more about an apprenticeship in engineering.

The event is supported by Derbyshire Education Business Partnership which helps to co-ordinate the schools involved.