Engineering Education Scheme inspires sixth formers to consider a career in engineering

The School of Engineering and Digital Arts has once again played host to the Engineering Education Scheme!

Some 80 sixth form students with an interest in science and engineering attended from schools and colleges in Kent and Sussex.

The two day workshop was organised by the charity the Engineering Development Trust (EDT), which is the largest provider of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) nrichment activities for UK youth. The EDT provides opportunities for 11-21 year olds to enhance their technical, personal and employability skills through industry-led projects, industrial placements and specialized courses, enabling them to make an informed decision about their future students and career.

The workshop in EDA enabled students to engineer solutions to real industrial problems provided by companies linked to each school or college. For the workshop, EDA made its laboratories available, as well as providing support from its technicians and academic staff. The workshop also highlighted to the students the wide range of courses our School has to offer, from electronic, computer systems engineering and bioengineering to digital media technology.

This year, the schools attending the two-day workshop were: Kent College, Cranbrook School, Dane Court Grammar, Highsted Grammar, Newstead Wood School, Cleeve Park, Langley Park Girls, Dartford Grammar, Wilmington Grammar, Helenswood Academy, Hazelwick School, BHASVIC, Holy Trinity and Simon Langton Boys.

Participating companies include: Pfizer, BAE Systems, Instro Precision, Whitecode, DSTL, Balfour Beatty, Beck & Pollitzer, Pavegen, Laing O’Rourke, NNB Genco, General Dynamics, L-3, Thales and Mott Macdonald.

The projects ranged from designing a home of the future to simulating a sand storm.

Reporting on the workshop, Matt Fox, EES coordinator for Kent, said, ‘Without doubt the University workshop experience is the highlight of the six-month project for the students. There is an incredible amount of diversity in the projects they tackle and the dedicated staff at the University always manage to assist them towards a successful outcome.’

Commenting on the wider implications of the workshop and scheme, Winston Waller, Director of Enterprise, commented: ‘Apart from the practical aspect of the workshop, the two day event provides students with the opportunity to experience a sample of life at the University of Kent, view our facilities, and interact with teaching and research staff from whom they can obtain first-hand information about the diverse range of courses on offer. The workshop plays a formative role in shaping the engineers of tomorrow.’

This is the 30th anniversary of the Engineering Education Scheme, and since its inception in 1984 over 30,000 students have participated. A further 89% of students go on to read engineering or associated science/IT/technical degrees with 97% of participating engineers considering the scheme to be relevant to their company’s needs.