Developing industrial insight amongst diverse engineering students’

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Udonna Okeke, leader of EDM’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Programme, together with the Student Experience Team, partnered with the Royal Academy of Engineering in the 2019 Graduate Engineering Engagement Programme (GEEP). The programme focuses on bringing together the most successful and talented engineers from across the engineering sectors for a shared purpose; to advance and promote excellence in engineering, and to increase the transition of diverse engineering graduates from diverse backgrounds into engineering employment.

Through this partnership, five EDM students were sent to a Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) London event. SEO London prepare talented students from ethnic minority or low socioeconomic backgrounds for career success, and on 19th to 20th of November 2019 EDM students attended the SEO GEEP programme of events.

The programme mentored, nurtured and supported the students in developing industry insights, inclusivity and diversity, CV writing, interview and presentation skills.

Below is some of the feedback from the students that attended:

“I found it useful to gain the knowledge on how to create a CV, how to prepare myself for an interview of every kind and how to stay in touch with future and past employers.”

“I would say that I met a lot of diverse people, we worked great as a group for that 2-day event and the network we built would be very useful in the future.”

“The time spent talking to different companies helped me make it clear for myself how I want to further develop myself. It brightened my horizons and I wish I had the opportunity to be part of this event earlier in my studies.”

“This is one of the reasons I would definitely recommend sending more students to such events. I have already told my friends all about it and few of them are interested in the event happening on 4th-5th of December in Manchester”.

“Thanks to Udonna and EDM for giving me the opportunity to be part of the engineering future.”

“I would 100% recommend that students attend in the future! It was exceptionally helpful for everyone and the general thoughts from all students was that it was extremely helpful.”

Making children’s inventions a reality

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UWE Bristol partners with the Leaders Award, an annual children’s engineering competition, to help run the competitions’ masterclass, grading days and celebration events in the South West. Last year Engineering students made a prototype of one of the winning inventions – a car braking systems where the red braking lights vary in intensity according to the pressure applied to the brake. This year, a new team of engineers are making children’s ideas into reality…

Second year mechanical engineering student – Georgina Packham – is heading up the ‘EWB UWE’ team to try and make a ‘Rain Catcher’.

The Rain Catcher was designed by Year 1 student from Headley Park Primary School, Tristan Sta Ines – pictured here.

The design’s purpose is to catch the rain which then turns into clean water. This benefits those who are thirsty helping to keep them healthy.

“We chose the Rain Catcher as we are not aware of any existing products that function in all the same ways that this design does, and we were also instantly drawn to the bright colours of the design. Tristan’s design will not only have little to no negative impact on the environment, but could also benefit those who don’t have easy access to clean water.”

Georgina explained why EWB UWE chose Tristan’s design.

The rest of the team is comprised of first year Engineering, Design and Mathematics students, Chase McLaughlin, Simbarashe Sibanda and Sonny Ngo.

Good luck team EWB UWE!

UWE students challenge kids with engineering activities

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Last week engineering and teaching students teamed up to bring engineering challenges to children across schools in Bristol.

The 35 engineering students and 22 education students currently taking the Engineering in Society module, used their different skill bases to peer mentor one another, and then deliver engaging activities to ~720 pupils at six Bristol schools on Wednesday 27th November.

Children aged 8 – 11 years old at Bannerman Road, Hambrook, Illminster Avenue, May Park, Shield Road and Victoria Park Primary Schools took part in one or more of the activities:

  • Gliders (High Flyers)
  • Floating Platform (High and Dry)
  • Vacuum Cleaner (Super Sucker)

Senior Lecturer from UWE Bristol and module lead, Dr Laura Fogg-Rogers was enthusiastic about the engineering day. “Visiting our engineers as they undertake their education outreach is always an exciting experience. Not only do we see our students flourishing, but I can see the impact they are having on the children as well. There is always so much fun and excitement in the classrooms as the children come up with their own designs!”

“Engineering can change the world, basically”

“This is the best day of my life!”

“Engineering can make life better for us all”

Quotes from participating children

What kind of engineer could you become?

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Engineering UK have released a short, fun careers quiz and whether you’re just starting out, or ready to think about your next steps, this is the quiz for YOU – Meet the Future You

Ever wondered what an engineer does? Could you see yourself exploring outer space, protecting the environment, designing apps or developing cures for diseases? Engineers do all this, and more!

There are eight questions about lifestyle and interests, which are used to match you to 12 different potential fields of engineering:

  • Coding Legends
  • Civilisation Savers
  • Crime Preventers
  • Cure Creators
  • Electric Dynamos
  • Materials Makers
  • Future Lifesavers
  • Mechanical Marvels
  • Electron Pioneers
  • Sea Crusaders
  • Universe Explorers

Take the quiz and get ready to be inspired…

Lottie looks in on changing perceptions and teaching of engineering

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The face of engineering is changing, and the #Lottietour – where a Lottie doll tours the varied world of engineering – helps to showcase that.

Science Stereotype Challenging Stories

This years tour has begun, with Lottie sitting in on a story about a young inventor, told by Marine Engineer, Tamsin Dobson. Tamsin read ‘Rosie Revere Engineer’ to children at Aerospace Bristol last week in one of many storytelling events held across the city during Bristol’s half term Storytale Festival.

Tamsin Dobson reading Rosie Revere Engineer at Aerospace Bristol on Tuesday 29th November 2019.

STEM Ambassadors read books that challenged science-stereotypes at 10 different locations. These ‘Curious Stories for Curious Children‘ were run by the Curiosity Connections team (the Bristol primary science network), including UWE Bristol’s Laura Fogg-Rogers and Louisa Cockbill, alongside Liz Lister from the STEM Ambassador hub for the West of England.

While perceptions of science and engineering were challenged for over 150 children across the city, Lottie moved up to UWE Bristol’s Frenchay campus to witness how Engineering Education is changing….

Challenging Engineering Education

The quiet before level 1 student engineers get back to helping solve multiple issues that Makers Valley in Johannesburg, South Africa is experiencing right now. A jam packed week of research and learning how to develop a concept design for a problem.

Nearly all of UWE’s 700 first and second year engineering students,turned up for the first Scenario Project week of the year. Challenging the students with regional and global problems is a foundational part of the new engineering curriculum, all designed to improve inclusivity.

I think historically the education system precludes certain types of people from being successful, because it’s heavily examined and a lot of young people don’t find that an easy process to go through. We are trying to create a curriculum with a range of different methods to assess students, so that regardless of background and qualification, there’s the opportunity to succeed.

Lisa Brodie, Head of Engineering, Design and Mathematics

Read more about ‘Curious Stories for Curious Children‘ and hear Lisa Brodie wax lyrical about engineering.

Access for everyone

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Here lies the results of the final student challenge set in the Engineering in the Community module.

Robert Fleming, Joseph Ford and Claudia Paduano on the Engineering Competence Postgraduate Diploma, sought to improve shop accessibility and therefore footfall in high streets. They partnered with Airbus, Babcock and Bedminster Business Improvement District, to provide a portable solution to the accessibility issues facing the Bubble Play Café in Bedminster. You can read more about how the team met this community need below:

Bristol’s very own Tech Fair

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Bristol’s Tech Fair, celebrating local tech, engineering and science, is coming to Colston Hall on Saturday 9th November, 10am – 4pm.

It’s a lively carnival of family fun activities, careers advice and diversity inspiration – get free tickets for you and you family on Eventbrite.

There’s a Family and Kids Zone full day of Virtual Reality, Programming and Robotics with loads of local exhibitors, including UWE!

And for those of you involved in outreach and inclusion, the fair is also hosting the WISE conference. WISE is all about enabling and energising women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and they have an inspiring line up planned for the conference……Including, the UWE’s Engineering, Design and Mathematics’ departments very own – Laura Fogg-Rogers.

Fogg-Rogers will be speaking about UWE’s Women Like Me mentoring project, which connects women engineers with more experienced women in the field.

Finally, there’s a tech careers fair, for anyone who wants a sneak peak into what’s out there in the South West.

The tech fair is part of the Bristol Technology Festival, which is running from Monday 4th to Sunday 10th of November.

UWE introduce teenagers to robots and programming

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Senior Research fellow from the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, Severin Lemaignan, took a team of students and plenty of robots to Bristol’s Teen Tech Fair earlier this month.

Teen Tech Festivals pop up across the UK to inspire the innovators of tomorrow -teenagers! On Thursday 10th October, local businesses turned up to Bristol’s Pavilion to help young people understand the opportunities in the science, technology and engineering industries.

Lemaignan was enthusiastic about how his robotic programming activity was received. “About 60 children came and visited us. They all went through a bit of robot exploration with the Thymios, trying to guess their different behaviours, and relate them to the sensors and actuators that the robots have; followed by a short introduction to programming with the Vectors: 
how can we get the robot to avoid a wall?”

Students, Ranvir Bhogal, Bethany Mackey and Jiangyin Sun, helped facilitate the short 15 minute activities.

“All of the instructors, activity leaders and ambassadors were tirelessly energetic with infectious enthusiasm. They used language to explain concepts to the pupils in an accessible way. Not all of mine are regular users of technical vocabulary but I felt that they understood all that they needed to and learnt loads! They have come away inspired and really excited about entering the TeenTech Awards. I also had a lovely day!”

Comment from a Teacher who attended.

You can find out more about Teen Tech below and read the report from the day here.

Cosy Compost

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Students taking the Engineering Competence Postgraduate Diploma have the option to take the community challenge module – Engineering in the Community. Five groups undertook varied projects, and this is the 4th in our blog series showcasing the results.

For this community challenge, William Holmes, Paul Trimble and Elisabeth Woeldgen, partnered with Incredible Edible Bristol, Airbus and the Science & Technology Facilities council, to create an insulated compost bin. The team delivered the prototype compost bin made of reusable materials to Speedwell Allotment, along with accompanying instructional material for Incredible Edible to use on their education sites. Read more about the project below:

Identifying Healthier Workshop Heating Solutions

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In this blog series, we’re showcasing the Engineering Competence Postgraduate Diploma students’ community challenges, completed as part of the Engineering in the Community module.

For this project, Airbus‘ Ross Gardner & Ed Wheatcroft partnered with Residents Against Dirty Energy (RADE) to try and find ways to keep open workshop and garage spaces warm without producing pollutants that are detrimental to health. A number of potential solutions have been outlined in their poster below.