In July the University held Engineering summer schools where young people across Kent and Medway were provided with an insight into the world of engineering through workshops focusing on different engineering principles and specialisms.
The workshops were:
- Robotic Arm – a session that introduced the design and development of an artificial robotic hand. It provided a great learning opportunity about the diverse range of engineering aspects such as mechanical design, actuation system and controlling circuit for obtaining a technical solution to an engineering problem – “Very hands on and was very cool”.
- Robots Line Detector - a session that provided an opportunity to improve critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration skills through an engaging and inspiring STEM activity based on Lego Robotics technology. The session introduced programming concepts and path planning skills – “Very cool as they were fun to programme”.
- Mini Hydraulic Digger – this session delivered an opportunity to enhance problem solving and collaboration skills through a stimulating STEM activity based on a mini hydraulic digger. Through the workshop participants built their own digger and learnt about the different types of hydraulic systems – “Loved it!”.
- Engineering for Light and Motion allowed participants the opportunity to discuss things such as ‘How does chemical energy become converted to light energy and kinetic energy?’ while making their own torch to keep! It was a chance to question someone who works as an engineer and answer questions about using engineering to solve problems – “Fun, different and quite interesting”.
- How to Present Successful was a workshop aimed to equip participants with strategic skills they can apply to any situation needed to record and present information, organising revision and notes, coursework, homework, research and beyond! – “Helps me in later life”.
STEM Ambassadors acted as Dragon Den judges where the young people were presenting on the title of ‘If you were an Engineer what would you design?’ The task involved the students working in groups to come up with an invention by designing an engineer solution to a problem and then explaining the concept. STEM Ambassadors were on a panel of judges to listen to the student’s ideas and provide feedback to them.
“I was very impressed with their unrestricted creativity. I particularly like the design (see below) from Team ZIF who’s proposal to mitigate the impact of bees going extinct is to construct nano bees”