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Inspired by engineering

School pupils complete a six-week team challenge set by graduates from AWE

Inspired by engineering

A team of AWE graduates worked with pupils from nine schools in the 2019 Royal Institution Engineering Masterclass series.

Thirty teens (aged 13 to 14) took up the six-week challenge, which was hosted at The Hurst Community College, Baughurst.

Pupils from different schools were placed in five teams, competing against each other for the first five weeks of the series.

Their objective was to earn as many points as possible for ‘lives’ to use in the sixth-week final challenge.

This year’s Masterclass theme was ‘Forces and Motion’ and their applications in modern life and the sessions were very hands-on.

The pupils had great fun putting theory into practice, building Newton’s cradles, working scale models of wind turbines, drag race car parachutes and learning how an electric car works.

This culminated in a challenge to build and race balloon cars.

They also learned about ship engineering and design, testing their new-found knowledge of marine engineering by constructing mini cargo boats and sailing them across a pool.

They then moved on to aeronautics and astronautics, building working gliders and rockets.

They ended their introductory journey through the wonders of engineering with a fun final challenge.

This included a quiz and a tough egg obstacle course race, consisting of a steep ramp, down which a car was pushed, a boat which had to carry the egg across the pool without capsizing and a parachute fall out of a second story window.

Sadly, not all the eggs made it.

AWE deputy chief scientist and chairman of the board of governors to The Hurst Community College Norman Godfrey presented prizes and goody bags to the pupils afterwards.

He said: “Encouragingly, equal numbers of male and female participants took part.

“Our graduate team received good feedback from parents, who felt it was beneficial to see female engineers and physicists teaching these classes.

“Two female students actually said they wanted to be engineers when they grew up because they had enjoyed the series of classes and extending their learning beyond the school syllabus.”

The schools involved included St Bartholomew’s, St Gabriel’s, The Downs, The Hurst Community College and The Willink.

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