This is an archived news story which is over 12 months old and may contain out of date information

2019 Royal Institution Engineering Masterclass series

Royal Institute Masterclass winning team

A team of AWE graduates worked with pupils from nine* local schools in the 2019 Royal Institution Engineering Masterclass series.

Thirty teens (aged 13-14) took up the six-week challenge, which was hosted at The Hurst Community College, Baughurst.

Students from different schools were placed in five teams, competing against each other for the first five weeks of the series. Their objective was to earn as many points as possible for ‘lives’ to use in the sixth-week final challenge.

This year’s Masterclass theme was ‘Forces and Motion’ and their applications in modern life and the sessions were very hands on. The students had great fun putting theory into practice, building Newton’s cradles; working scale models of wind turbines; drag race car parachutes and learning how an electric car works. This culminated in a challenge to build and race balloon cars.

They also learned about ship engineering and design, testing their new-found knowledge of marine engineering by constructing mini cargo boats and sailing them across a pool. They then moved on to aeronautics and astronautics, building working gliders and rockets.

They ended their introductory journey through the wonders of engineering with a fun final challenge. This included a quiz and a tough egg obstacle course race, consisting of a steep ramp, down which a car was pushed, a boat which had to carry the egg across the pool without capsizing and a parachute fall out of a second story window! Sadly, not all the eggs made it!

Norman Godfrey, Deputy Chief Scientist of AWE and Chair for the Board of Governors to The Hurst Community College, presented prizes and goody bags to the students afterwards.

He said: “Encouragingly, equal numbers of male and female participants took part. Our graduate team received good feedback from parents, who felt it was beneficial to see female engineers and physicists teaching these classes.  “Two female students actually said they wanted to be engineers when they grew up because they had enjoyed the series of classes and extending their learning beyond the school syllabus.“

*Aldworth School; Bishop Challoner Catholic School; Everest Community Academy; St Bartholomew’s School; St Gabriel’s School; The Downs School; The Hurst Community College; Willink School; The Wren School.