University of Wales trip
Year 10 STEM trip to University of Wales
Bright and early on Monday 14 January 2019, a group of Year 10 pupils headed to Swansea and the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David for a day at the School of Engineering facility that had opened in September 2018. The aim of the day was for pupils to have a hands-on experience of a University, see the potential courses they could follow post-18 and the careers available to them in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).
They started the day with an introduction from the Head of School of Engineering who explained about the new facility and how engineering develops creativity, team-working and leadership skills.
Following the introduction the pupils had the opportunity to take part in two workshops before lunch. The workshops were based on the University’s automotive simulator, programming a robot with links made to robots as part of the fourth industrial revolution and composite materials. Clear links were made by the University staff to the pupils current GCSE specifications.
Helen Charlesworth, Assistant Head, said “It was great to see our pupils working together to solve problems and apply their skills from the STEM subjects, the automotive simulator certainly brought out the competitive side in some pupils!”
When pupils came back together at lunch time they were full of enthusiasm for the workshops they had completed and were in awe at the facilities available to the students currently studying at the University.
“The trip was an insight into a type of engineering that I want to base my career on; so it was interesting to see.” Leif
“…..they allowed us to learn about different materials and gave us a good idea about university life. The workshops I thought were fun were the racing car simulation and the robotic programming. The experience is one that I would recommend and I shall try and get into one of the Open Days.” Felix
“It was great fun and a good insight into what universities are like. The workshops were interesting and the car simulation was by far the best.” Kyra
“The trip to Trinity St David University was a great experience and I learnt many techniques that I feel will help throughout my Design and Technology GCSE. I particularly enjoyed learning about motor sport engineering, as it is a field I am very interested in and hope to explore in the future.” Monty
After lunch pupils completed their last workshop and then came back together to listen to a lecture on the circular economy which got pupils thinking about waste and how it can be minimised and “designed out”. In a circular economy the waste is designed to be recovered, refreshed and upgraded, minimising the energy input required and maximising the retention of value (in terms of both economics and resources).
Deer Park's Head of Design Faculty, Mrs Evans, said “The day has been inspirational and given the pupils a real insight into University life as well as Engineering. The Lecturers gave so generously of their time; preparing presentations and workshops to engage and motivate our pupils. They were encouraged to ask questions and links were constantly being made to their GCSE specifications. It was an invaluable experience for which the pupils have realised and expressed.”
It was clear from the conversations that the day had certainly got the pupils thinking about their futures and possible careers.
“I really enjoyed my STEM trip to Trinity St David University! I tried a number of exciting new things such as programming a robot and having a go on the motorsport simulator! I would definitely recommend this trip to anyone that has an interest in engineering!” Oscar
“I found learning how the manufacturing industry worked really interesting and I liked how they found new ways of making motorsport more efficient and environmentally friendly.” Gaby
“It was a lovely university, with amazing facilities. I loved the motorsports workshop and I even managed to have a go on their race car simulator. I had a great insight on university life and how the world of engineering has a key role in everyday life. Thank you again.” Amber
“I really enjoyed experiencing the different fields of engineering and found the robotics especially engaging - we were able to program it and see it move. It was very cool seeing the change between different eras and their approach to robots.” Finn
We are very grateful to the University for the workshops and resources they provided and the experience they gave our pupils and hope to continue to develop this link.