From Monday 16 – Friday 20 April, the Partnership Development Office ran the large ‘Da Vinci Days’ outreach event on the Medway campus. The Da Vinci Days have been running yearly since 2012 and are designed to encourage students to engage with the sciences and the arts, and to develop engineering, creative and team work skills.
Over the course of the week we welcomed over 400 Year 7 students from Brompton Academy and Chatham Grammar School for Girls, the two institutions included in our schools sponsorship. For many participants, this was their first experience of visiting a university campus and meeting current students.
The days each started with an interactive talk, introducing students to the concept of bridge designing and building. Students then worked in teams, with the support of student ambassadors, to find inspiration on the Medway campus and build the strongest bridge possible using materials such as straws, tape and plasticine. Students were also judged and awarded points for their design and teamwork skills. Each day culminated in a final competition putting bridges to the test using bags of sugar as weights. The winning teams will be awarded with a trip to the Science Museum in London in July.
The days were organised and delivered by the Partnership Development Office in collaboration with the School of Engineering and Digital Arts and Kent School of Architecture. Outreach and Academic Student Ambassadors supported and worked in a range of roles to ensure the event went smoothly and the participants had a positive experience.
The event was a great success and enjoyed by all involved. Mark Cawthorne, Assistant Principal from Brompton Academy has said that “the students had a fantastic time and I think it was the best year yet!”
We look forward to running the event again next year.