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AWE scientists and engineers have inspired children at local Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) events this July.
On Wednesday, July 8, local schools put their design and engineering skills to the test, when they competed in AWE’s annual Schools Engineering Challenge, at the Aldermaston Recreational Centre. And on July 2, nearly 150 sixth-form students from Queen Mary’s College, Basingstoke, were wowed by cutting-edge interactive exhibits demonstrated by AWE at their annual STEM Day. AWE works actively with local schools and colleges to foster and inspire innovation in STEM.
At the annual Schools Engineering Challenge a team of AWE graduates helped 14-15 years olds design and build a gravity car (a vehicle powered by the force of gravity). The gravity cars were constructed using the materials and tools provided, and powered using gravity.
Luke Barlow, team member from the winning school, Park House said: “We have had a fantastic day. The challenge has encouraged our initiative skills and to think differently about engineering.”
Matt Stuart-White, Trainee AWE Health Physicist, one of the graduate team who inspired children at the annual AWE schools engineering Challenge said: “Everyone enjoyed the day. The pupils learnt a great deal but also gained an understanding of how engineering can be challenging, at times, but also a great deal of fun. Hopefully some of the students will be inspired to pursue the subject further with A-level study, a degree, or an apprenticeship.”
Students at the QMC STEM day, supported by AWE, were split into groups over six sessions during the course of the day. There were demos on 3D printing, balloon-popping using lasers, the science of foams, wire bending and a tower-building exercise.
AWE analytical scientist, Dr Alison Baxter who supported this event said: “I have been working as the AWE school liaison representative for QMC for two years and have organised AWE’s attendance at a few events. The STEM day was a huge success; the students were full of energy and really embraced the whole event, asking lots of questions about the science we do, what it’s like to work at AWE and also about the AWE apprenticeship scheme.”