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Educating and inspiring future engineers

21 September 2016

The 35,000kg RS Live truck is travelling Northern and central Europe providing innovation in motion for its customers, suppliers and academic institutions.

Through a series of interactive, self-learning display zones highlighting the whole gamut of engineering disciplines, the aim of RS Live is to bring engineering and technology to everyone, and to capture the interest of future engineers.

The interior of the truck follows the theme of ‘Design, Build, Maintain’, taking visitors on a tour of RS Components’ complete product range. The truck itself is powered by several Raspberry Pi computers, controlling the various interactive displays and activities inside. 

RS recognises its potential to influence the uptake of engineering to prevent a future skills gap in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) subjects, and RS Live serves as a highly engaging educational resource for children and young people across a broad cross section of ages, from primary school to university undergraduate level. The initiative, supported by the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), which works to inspire and inform the engineers of today and tomorrow, provides a hands-on experience of engineering and technology through interactive training and workshop sessions. 

This week, Ark Burlington Danes Academy in west London was the first of many schools to experience RS Live. 90 lucky Year 7 students were taken to see the possibilities the engineering sector has to offer them. In an orderly fashion, half of each group were taken on a tour of the truck and the other half were taken to an interactive session where they got to learn about coding through the use of Pi-Tops and classic arcade games. 

Michael Ribton, Principle at Ark Burlington Danes Academy, noted that the hands-on activities for the students were a great way to promote science and maths as subjects. As these students are the people of the future, it’s imperative that they are encouraged from a young age to think about a career in this field, especially girls. 

Lindsley Ruth, Group Chief Executive at Electrocomponents, commented “As a business that serves a very broad engineering community, we have a responsibility to promote the importance of engineering as an academic discipline and to nurture the next generation. RS Live is enabling us to reach out to youngsters from an early age, to enthuse them through technology in action.” 

RS Live will continue its tour across the UK for the next two months, then make its way over to Munich, Germany for the Electronica trade fair between 8-11 November 2016.

To watch a video of the students of Ark Burlington Danes Academy experiencing RS Live, click here.

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