Sincere thanks to Phil Edwards of Weald Technology Limited for delivering Energy Quest workshops to a group of year 9 science students at Wilmington Academy
Organised through the charity, Tomorrows Engineers, the workshops are designed to help young people to understand the ubiquitous role of engineering in our everyday lives as well as exploring if this might be a career choice for our students.
Students worked in small groups named after significant engineers: Archimedes, Edith Clarke, Leonardo Da Vinci, Henry Ford, Beatrice Shilling, Isambard Kingdom-Brunel, Elon Musk, Hattie Scott-Peterson, George Stephenson, and Nikola Tesla.
Each workshop began by asking students to consider what they think of when they hear the word engineering. Workshops are designed to help our young people to think like an engineer and thus the first task began:
Utilising video, Phil explained that the population of the world is estimated to grow to over 9 billion by the year 2050 which would equate to an increased energy requirement of 50%. Current fossil fuels of oil, gas and coal will not last forever and currently over 1 billion people do not have access to electricity. Phil discussed the need for renewable energy.
Students were given a set of mix and match cards, each of which gave information on an energy source with students being asked to separate them between renewable and non- renewable and discuss the positive and negative aspects of each.
The U.K currently has 27% of its energy produced by renewable energy whilst for growing economies such as China, the statistic is only 11%
Stepping into the shoes of an engineer, students were asked to design, build and test their own electric car suggesting improvements along the way. Students took to this task with great gusto with the Lecture Theatre being a hive of activity of cars being tested and distances measured!
Throughout the workshops students completed “Energise Your Future” questions to help them discover what kind of engineer they could be:
Sincere thanks to all who participated and helped to make these useful workshops happen.