Press release issued 6 March 2013
A group of talented Bristol pupils will delve into the worlds of science and magic as part of a special programme run by ss Great Britain to inspire the next generation of Brunels.
A special day of activities was organised to help them better understand ‘Brunel the Magician’ and explore cutting-edge technology, new scientific advances and both magical and scientific thinking.
Professor Bruce Drinkwater, from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, explored experimental technology, including the use of levitation and ultrasonic particle manipulation. Dr Nathalia Gjersoe, from the School of Experimental Psychology, then looked at how our brains make sense of the world and how things can appear magical.
The Future Brunels programme is one of the educational activities run by the Trust’s Brunel Institute, situated next to the historic ship in Bristol.
The ss Great Britain Trust’s Education Manager Dr Rachel Roberts said: “The ‘Future Brunels’ programme is designed to encourage more children to pursue a career in science and engineering. We aim to inspire the next generation of Brunels by introducing them to these types of new technologies and experiences.”
“We are delighted to be working with the University of Bristol and with the support we have received from funders, especially the Lloyds Register Foundation (LRF) and the Society of Merchant Venturers.”
During the day, students at the University explained a project they’re currently working on which looks at levitation and gave interactive demonstrations. The Future Brunels then had the opportunity to become engineers themselves and think of various ways in which levitation could be used in future technology.
Professor Drinkwater said: “We were glad to welcome the Future Brunels to the University, not only to teach them about some fundamental concepts, but to give them an insight into what studying at university is like. We took them on a quest for invention which Brunel would appreciate, although the technology is completely different to what he would recognise.”
The ‘Future Brunels’ project is seen as pioneering by sector leaders, including The LRET, and is the most ambitious educational programme developed to date by the ss Great Britain Trust, which also runs the museum attraction Brunel’s ss Great Britain. The ‘Future Brunels’ five-year rolling programme covers:
Other educational work carried out by the ss Great Britain Trust includes school tours and ‘Brunel Badge Workshops’ for schools at Brunel’s ss Great Britain; the ‘Brunel Badge Loan Boxes’ scheme for informal education groups; ‘Sea Hear’ storytelling for pre-school children; and the ‘Golden Ticket’ scheme for schoolchildren in educationally deprived areas.
'Future Brunel' Charlie Hall, 14, a pupil at Bedminster Down School, tries his hand at making a ball levitate at Bristol University
We took them on a quest for invention which Brunel would appreciate, although the technology is completely different to what he would recognise.