The ACCIS/CoSEM CDT hosted a STEM Outreach Day for a group of 50 Sixth-Form pupils from Katharine Lady Berkeley’s School on Thursday, 18th May. Led entirely by the current CDT students, there were four activities that ran throughout the day in rotation. To start the day, there was an introduction to the University and Composite Engineering given from Professor Ian Hamerton in the Small Lecture Theatre. This was then followed by a mini-lecture presented by CDT18 student, Rafael Heeb, on an Introduction to Aeronautics. Then, CDT20 student, Meiran Abdo shared about his current research project in recycling wind blade waste material.
The group then went down to the General Engineering Lab for a variety of hands-on and engaging activities. One activity, created by Dr. Ben Woods, was the creation of an aeroplane wing. This required students in small groups to make important decisions to craft a wing that took into consideration aerodynamics and the lift/drag ratio.
The ‘winning’ designs were celebrated after each wing was tested for performance. The pupils also utilised the NextCOMP Crushers, generously supported by the NextCOMP team. Using jelly and dried pasta, the pupils were tasked with creating a sample that could withstand the most weight. The pupils also used the pillar drills and laser cutter to create keychains that they could take home with them. Each pupil was also given the opportunity to spend time on the flight simulator, which was widely praised by the pupils.
As it was a beautiful day outside, the pupils enjoyed lunch at Royal Fort Gardens, before continuing the rotations in the Lab. It was a great day, with unanimously positive feedback from pupils and staff on the overall satisfaction of the day and the engagement of the CDT students.
Additional gratitude for the support to help run this day from Willow Gibson, Jo Gildersleve, Sophie Spence, Josh Hoole, Active Outreach, and the CDT Directors and Staff.