Students inspired by engineering

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Bridge-building, code-cracking and robot X-Factor were just some of the activities on offer to students in a day of engineering workshops.

A total of 100 Year Eight students at Ripley 
Academy took part in the event, which was sponsored by the National Grid and 
focused on science, 
technology, engineering and maths.

Students started the day with an assembly during which a company called Science Made Simply talked about what engineering is and the varied range of jobs that there are in engineering.

The year group was then split into three and each group took part in a workshop session on the theme of ‘drawing board’, which involved looking at the design process and the stages involved as well as focusing on being creative and how ideas are generated.

Robot X-Factor was 
another session and 
students were asked to think of the best way to lift and move obstacles out of an arena.

They had to pick a lifting device and remove items before the other team and they could drop extra items into the opponent’s area.

Students were also given a range of tasks to compete as part of a problem solving session, from bridge-building to code-cracking.

Chris Goddard, curriculum area leader for design and technology, said students thoroughly enjoyed the day.

He said: “Students were extremely enthusiastic and a day like this really helps them with their option choices in the future too.

“Any activity that links school to work is important. Work can seem a long way off to many students, but helping them prepare for work is so vital.

“For some it will give school some context and purpose and what we are really looking to do is raise aspirations and STEM activities are a way to do this.

“We should be pushing students to consider this 
area of work, especially 
as we are in the Midlands 
which is a centre for manufacturing.”