Students tackle real-world problems

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Motivated by UWE’s 2020 strategy to educate for sustainable development, for the past three years EDM has partnered with Engineers without borders (EWB)-UK to deliver project based learning activities that develop a sense of global responsibility in students.

Project weeks have been used to focus students’ design skills on different real-world problems. And for the second Project Week of the 19/20 academic year, Level 1 students were given the challenge of finding engineering solutions to tackle one of the following problem areas in Johannesburg, South Africa: Transport, Energy, Water, Digital, Sanitation, Housing, Waste and Built Environment.

Inspiring speakers, Navjot Sawhney (Senior Cost Engineer at Jaguar Land Rover and founder of the Washing Machine Project) and Adam Root (Founder of Inheriting Earth, an award wining entrepreneur with a mechanical engineering background), helped to engage over 300 students in the projects.

Projects were presented via posters, votes taken and prizes awarded. Students also had the choice to compete against other universities in the EWB Engineering for People Design Challenge.

EDM’s foundation challenge

Foundation level students also took part in projects, with the Engineering and Mathematics, Rocket and Robot Challenge a popular success.

Students (helped by EDM staff) enjoyed a busy and industrious week in the ECC building, programming robots and calculating the variables needed (the beginning of rocket science)  to control projectiles launched  in a competition to meet set targets. The winning team was Zeta, George Price, Jack O’Neill, Tomas Sudenis, Matthew Payne and Ryan Beazer.

Project success!

Overall the project weeks have received lots of positive feedback from staff, students and external speakers. But its not just an internal success, there’s also lots of external interest in what EDM is doing, with several other universities visiting to observe EDM’s project based learning delivery.

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