The team picked the design of Philippa Griffiths, a Year 7 student at Hugh Sexey CE Middle School in Somerset. Philippa designed the RLBS (Red Line Braking System) to display red lights to alert other drivers of the severity of the braking and levels of attention needed, with the aim of reducing fatalities on our roads. The team will be visiting Philippa’s school in February to discuss the design with her and deliver engineering outreach for her class.
Georgina and Olesya tell us how they’re looking forward to getting started, in this video made by Miriam:
“It’s OK not to have things working right the first time”
Miriam, a student engineer in the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, took part “mainly to inspire them, tell them never give up and that it’s OK not to have things working right the first time”.
“It was inspiring and thought-provoking”
Feedback from schools was outstanding, with schools reporting that Miriam’s presentation had particularly positive impacts for students from minority ethnic backgrounds, girls who struggle to engage with stereotypically ‘masculine’ topics and low attaining pupils now expressing that they would like be robotics engineers in the future.
Miriam is also part of a team of UWE Bristol students who are building a prototype of one of last year’s winning designs.
The Leaders Award is supported by UWE Bristol and asks children “If you were an engineer, what would you do?”. This free competition asks students to find a problem, invent a solution, draw it, explain and send it in. Pupils are encouraged to both interview engineers and watch the online interviews. If you’d like to take part in the Leaders Award as an engineer or school, please get in touch with the team.
As part of the competition, school pupils met and learnt from engineering students and professionals, before answering the question:
“We all agreed as a team on the design choice, because its practicality and feasibility suit our view and needs in the project. It will provide a great marketing look as well as provoking interest for children, as we are planning for them to physically test the final prototype! It’s a fantastic opportunity for us and we are all looking forward to see this project coming true!”
Mechanical engineer Brad Squires (President of Engineers Without Borders at UWE) will support and advise the project team as they begin to build Philippa’s design. They are hoping to visit Philippa and her classmates at their school as the project progresses. Watch this space!
Our Women Like Me engineer Eleanor Davies, structural engineer at BuroHappold, gave a very successful Leaders Award ‘Meet an Engineer‘ interview for the Leaders Award on 21st November. Eleanor told us more about her experience of giving the presentation in her guest post below.
Yesterday, I was lucky enough to talk to over 1300 children at primary school about what engineering is and what I do. Primary EngineerLeaders Award uses video calls to allow engineers to explain what they do to children and answer their questions in real time. This is a great way to engage many more children than simply going into one classroom, and to give them an understanding of what engineers actually look like and do. This is especially powerful at a young age when children are still curious about the world around them and stereotypes have not been formed.
In particular, I really enjoyed answering the many insightful questions asked. It definitely brought back good memories of damming streams on the beach in Wales, watching Megastructures on TV and gave me a chance to reflect on my career so far. Hopefully, it also showed that engineering is a hugely diverse profession open to all. It offers amazing opportunities to apply maths and science to solve real world problems and to come up with tangible solutions that you can be proud of.
Engineers who would like to support Primary Engineer / The Leaders Award can find out more here. Schools which would like to participate in Meet an Engineer interviews can find more information here.
The Leaders Award asks children “If you were an engineer, what would you do?”. This free competition asks students to find a problem, invent a solution, draw it, explain and send it in. Pupils are encouraged to both interview engineers and watch the online interviews.
Miriam, a student engineer in the Bristol Robotics Laboratory, is looking forward to her interview and will be discussing, alongside her work, what it’s like being a student engineer. She says she’s taking part “mainly to inspire them, tell them never give up and that it’s OK not to have things working right the first time“.
Miriam has promised to update us on how it goes! Our Women Like Me engineers have also been keen to take part, and will report back too – watch this space!