Sixteen A'level physics students from Greenhead College, Huddersfield, paid a visit to the University to take part in a programme of design challenges in the School of Engineering, Design & Technology.
Throughout the two days former Greenhead College student Matthew McGuinness who took part in a similar programme several years ago, was there to help the students and guide them through the projects. Matthew is about to graduate with an MEng in Medical Engineering from Bradford.
The students were first challenged to design and build a fleet of hovercraft in a day. The sixteen students broke up in to teams and were issued with materials and instructions to build the one meter square hovercraft. As with all engineering projects the students' designs had to be tested for performance.
"It's great to see students working together in teams towards a common goal." Said Jack Bradley, lecturer in Manufacturing Systems; " The Greenhead College students engaged extremely well with the project so much so that they were reluctant to break for lunch and the results were excellent!" Said Jack Bradley, lecturer in Manufacturing Systems.
The students were at the University over two days as part of their annual Physics Week; their next challenge was an "Advanced Design" project. This task required the students to design a complex trackway.
In between the design challenges the students were taken on a tour of the labs in EDT including the Electronics Labs where they saw a "balancing Robot" and the state of the art medical engineering laboratories where they heard about the latest techniques in medical engineering.
Some quotes from the Greenhead Students are given below following the projects together with photographs of them at work in the picture gallery...
"I would like to thank Bradford University staff for organising the tasks and giving me an understanding of what an engineering course at university entails."
"I also learnt a great deal about the research projects undertaken at Bradford University."
"The experience showed me that I can overcome seemingly difficult tasks with a bit of thinking and teamwork."
"I developed valuable skills in working to fine measurements which is a common thing to occur in an engineer's career."
"Following this experience, I am now seriously considering a degree involving engineering."
"We were given the task of creating a working hovercraft out of random materials. This task helped me develop some skills that would be invaluable in an engineering degree such as teamwork, working efficiently to a deadline, hand-eye co-ordination, precision and planning."
"Our task was to create a roller track that had to pop 2 balloons as a pair of balls rolled down it and meet certain specifications. We were given ambiguous instructions so that meant that we had to ask questions and develop the skill of asking useful questions. The skills developed were problem solving, lateral thinking and solo work."
"The roller track activity was both challenging and entertaining."
"I learnt a great deal about teamwork and how good communication is vital."
"We were immensely proud of what we had created (even if it did consist of 90% duct tape)!"
"I have bonded well with the members of my team, I guess building hovercrafts brings people together."
"The engineering project has been highly valuable for me as an individual in addition to being a lot of fun!"
"There was a great sense of achievement when all of my team's work came together."
"My improved communication skills could pay dividends in the future, especially when applying to any university or for a job."