Engineering brought to life for primary school pupils in UWE Bristol collaboration

Issue date: 08 June 2016

Engineering project

An exciting collaboration between the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), Yamazaki Mazak UK Ltd and a city primary school saw 242 children enjoy a hands-on taste of engineering.

With funding from the Institution of Engineering and Technology and the Institution of Mechanical Engineering, the project brought trainee primary school teachers together with engineering apprentices to lead activities in May Park Primary School in Bristol today (Wednesday 8 June).

In a follow-on event, all of the children involved will visit the European Technology Centre at Mazak European Headquarters, based in Worcester, to see real engineering in action and present their work to staff at the company.

Together, the apprentices and trainee teachers have prepared a set of activities that the children will complete in a one day challenge. Through building mini-vacuum cleaners, testing floating platforms and exploring flight, the children aged between eight and 11 will learn about the skills, challenges and excitement of engineering.

The project has been developed by staff from the UWE Education and Childhood Department, the Faculty of Environment and Technology, Science Communication Unit and Mazak, world leaders in machine tooling. The project draws on previous UWE Bristol collaborative projects EU Engineer and 'Children as Engineers' to enhance primary education through real world experience and contact with professionals.

Dr Corra Boushel, from the UWE Science Communication Unit, said: “This project has a big impact on the children, who get to meet real engineers and learn a huge amount through the activities.

“Importantly, it also gives the trainee teachers involved an opportunity to develop their knowledge of engineering and science, so that they can share this with future generations of school children after their degree at UWE Bristol. The apprentices develop their communication skills and get to share their enthusiasm with other professionals and children, so it's a three-way-win.”

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