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South-west teams inspired by engineering

Press release issued: 29 April 2010

Nearly 100 A-level students displayed their engineering project at the EES (Engineering Education Scheme) Celebration Day hosted at the University of Bristol

Nearly 100 A-level students displayed their engineering project at the EES ( Engineering Education Scheme) Celebration Day [Wednesday 28 April] hosted at the University of Bristol and in conjunction with the University’s Engineering Projects Colloquium.

For the past six months, the EES students have been working on real engineering problems set by local companies.  The 28 teams of 16-17 year olds come from local schools and they have been working with some of the biggest names in local industry including the Royal Navy, AstraZeneca, Rolls-Royce and Airbus.

“The EES students continue to surprise us, not only with their creativity but with their hard work and professionalism”, said  Dr Askin Isikveren, Director of the University’s Engineering Design degree programme.  “With so much news about local industry struggles, the event showed that there are still successes to celebrate amongst the region’s young people.”

The teams presented their ideas to panels of experts and the event featured a talk by Dr Tim Fox, Head of Energy and Environment at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers on Engineering as the agent for change.

Oliver Prater, Advanced RF Engineer at L-3 TRL, said: “We are delighted to have been involved with the EES for the second year running.  We see several benefits; our engineers benefit personally and develop as individuals, we continue to strengthen our links with local schools and most importantly we are encouraging young people to see engineering as a future career.”

EES projects on display included:

  • Badminton School in Bristol who worked with AstraZeneca on a wind turbine feasibility project and looked at alternative renewable energy sources.
  • Tewkesbury School who worked with L3-TRL Technology to design a pocket-sized, battery powered electronic test platform to confirm a radio receiver is operating correctly.
  • Wellsway School who worked with Airbus UK to develop additional security to restrict access to their facility.
  • The Crypt School who worked with GE Aviation to design and build an interactive display for children and young adults (6-16) to promote GE Aviation Systems and Engineering as a whole to a new generation of engineers.
  • Wootten Bassett School who worked with TS Tech to capture and store rain water to use within a Factory Cooling System.

Charity Watkins, EDT Regional Director, said: ”The Engineering Education Scheme is an amazing way to develop company staff and teachers, but the real stars are the students who come up with innovative solutions to problems.  They gain communication skills both written and verbal, manage a project and cope with the demands of their studies.  Many of these students will decide to study engineering as a direct result of this scheme, great for the future of UK plc."

Further information

The 20 secondary schools taking part in the Engineering Development Trust (EDT) Engineering Education Scheme (EES) are: Badminton School; Balcarras School; The Blue School; Bruton School for Girls; Cheltenham Ladies College; Clifton High School; The Crypt School; Downend School; The Godolphin School; Hayesfield School Technology College; Holyrood Community School; John Cabot Academy; Marlwood School; St Augustine’s Catholic College; St Laurence School; St Peter’s High School; Tewkesbury School; Wellsway School; Wotton Bassett School and Yeovil College.

The Faculty of Engineering at the University of Bristol has attracted over £75m in industrial and governmental research awards over the past five years, and has spent over £20m on infrastructure and laboratory equipment that will keep it at the forefront of teaching and research.

The Faculty comprises six departments and many research centres and groups.

Engineering Education Scheme (England), run by the EDT, is a real life 6-month science, engineering and technology project for Year 12 (16-17yr old) students. Established in 1984 the scheme currently involves around 1300 students all over England. The scheme links teams of four Year 12 students and their teacher with local companies, to work on real scientific, engineering and technological problems with exciting outcomes. During the six-month project phase, students are encouraged to show industrial enterprise, creativity and innovation whilst gaining extensive experience of problem solving, team working and project management. The project phase includes 3 key events: the Launch, the Residential University Workshop and the Celebration and Assessment Day.

Engineering Education Scheme Sponsors 2009/10

National Sponsors: British Science Association, Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (ESPRC), GKN, Selex Galileo, Tomorrow’s Engineers and the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE).

The EDT is an education charity that helps talented young people achieve their full potential, particularly in engineering, science and technology careers. The Trust runs four schemes, providing opportunities for 12-21 year old students to improve their technical and employment skills through industry-led projects, industrial placements and specialised courses: Go4SET, Engineering Education Scheme (England), Headstart and The Year in Industry. EDT Registered Charity Number 1002459. All EDT schemes are members of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Best Programme.

The Best Programme is the Royal Academy of Engineering’s programme of schemes aimed at encouraging and enthusing students to embark upon a career in engineering. ‘Best’ stands for ‘Better Engineering Science and Technology’ and the programme offers young people from the age of 7 upwards opportunities to gain an understanding of engineering and its importance in the world around us.

Please contact Joanne Fryer for further information.
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