As the school year was drawing to an end, 60 year 9 students were able to participate in a workshop run by Tomorrow’s Engineers, which was sponsored by Shell. The aim of the project was to enthuse students and to encourage a number of them to consider a job in engineering.
The day started with an information session about different types of engineering. Many students initially perceived engineering to only be linked with heavy industry and building. By the end of the first session they were aware of more diverse roles for engineers such as stage hands at a concert, in production of genetically engineered food and manufacturing of smaller things such as packaging or cosmetics.
After break the real fun started, when students were challenged to construct solar power cars. They then had to charge and race them across the expanse of the school hall. There was a highly charged atmosphere amongst a number of them, who were trying desperately to ensure that their car travelled in a straight line, and started in the right direction (a few set off in the opposite direction to the finish line, causing much amusement in the oppositions teams).
Our students were very resilient when things didn’t work as they planned on first attempts. With a little reflection and discussion, they were all able to successfully complete their challenge.