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Engineering Extravaganza to enthuse youngsters

31 October 2016

Four leading engineering institutions have launched a new ‘Engineering Extravaganza’ to inspire youngsters to become engineers.

Rolls-Royce design engineer and STEM Ambassador Ian Crowston talking with students about the IMechE challenge at an earlier Engineering Extravaganza.

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), and Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IoM3), have joined forces to organise the Extravaganza as part of ‘Tomorrow’s Engineers Week.’

The Extravaganza takes place at the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing’s Knowledge Transfer Centre on Thursday November 10 and will involve around 120 pupils from the surrounding region’s schools.

The event is designed to encourage youngsters, aged 12 to 14, to take up a career in engineering by giving them:

• Hands on experience of different engineering disciplines by working in teams to solve engineering challenges.
• A chance to see what goes on at the AMRC’s Training Centre and quiz apprentices about what’s involved in learning manufacturing skills.
• The opportunity to find out about advanced manufacturing technologies like additive manufacturing and friction stir welding from independent research and technology organisation TWI which, like the AMRC, has premises on South Yorkshire’s Advanced Manufacturing Park.

Rolls-Royce design engineer and STEM Ambassador Ian Crowston, who is leading the team organising the event, said: “The Engineering Extravaganza is an interactive event, designed to inspire young teenagers and their teachers about STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths – subjects.

“Our Extravaganza, held during British Science Week earlier this year, was a great success and this one will be even bigger and better.

“We’re trying to show youngsters that engineering is exciting, affects their everyday life and can play a leading role in solving the world’s problems.

“We are doing that by giving them hands on experience and an opportunity to spend time with engineers, technologists and scientists at a place that is at the leading edge of manufacturing technology.”

STEM ambassadors from each organisation are setting practical challenges for the youngsters.

The IET challenge looks at the technology behind “vacuum tube trains,” capable of travelling at 4,000mph, 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 IMechE will help the teams of youngsters to create an air-powered model of the Bloodhound car, which is hoping to raise the World Land Speed Record to more than 1,000mph and compete against each other to see which team’s will go the furthest and fastest.

The ICE will challenge students to consider the importance of high rise buildings to solve the problem of accommodating increasing populations in urban spaces. The students will use their problem solving skills to design and model a high rise structure in Lego that would be able to withstand the forces of nature and provide the best value for developers.

Meanwhile, the IoM3 challenge explores how materials play a central role in our lives and have helped to change and improve the technology we rely on.

In addition to the pupils taking part in the Engineering Extravaganza, the AMRC Training Centre will also be hosting young people from a number of other schools and colleges, who are taking part in one of Insight Visits, which take place throughout the year.

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