For this 2017/2018 academic year, we have had a record number of schools (Early Years, Primary and Secondary) register for our nine regional awards so, to assist every school that could not find an engineer from their wider community, we had to put our thinking caps on to invent a solution to this problem!
In mid-January, we instigated the first in a series of Leaders Award Engineer Presentations broadcast live on the internet to assist those schools that have experienced some difficulty in finding volunteer engineers to visit them and talk to their pupils about engineering and what a success it is turning-out to be!
On January 19, Iulia Motoc, a roboticist engineer from the University of Kent, became our first volunteer engineer to give a Leaders Award presentation to school children from across the country live over the internet. At that event, almost 600 pupils from just five schools, were enthralled by Iulia’s recounting of her engineering robots to do various tasks – as gauged by the numerous questions she was asked by the children following her talk.
The software we use for these events is a commercial video-conferencing package which allows numerous participants to watch, for example, a PowerPoint presentation on the host computer and to listen to the engineer talk through that slide-show. So that we don’t have almost 600 children verbally asking questions all at once, there is a ‘Chat’ facility that allows the teachers to type-in their pupils queries with the engineer then reading them out and answering them verbally.
Since that first broadcast with Iulia, we have had 8 other events where, in total, almost 3,000 children from 34 schools from counties as far afield as Highland in Scotland to Kent in England.
So far, we have 18 more confirmed events running every week until mid-March – in February we saw three events per week and, in March, they will be available four times a week.
So, of course, we would like to thank the following 17 fantastic engineers for the presentations they have done and those yet be broadcast:
Iulia Motoc: University of Kent
Dr Joe Silmon: Thales UK
Guillermo Huguet Rodriguez : Safran Nacelles
Yeff Karpushenko: Air Products
Dr Vincent Giampietro: Kings College London
Victoria Howells: Thales UK
Jenny Roberts: Gaist Solutions
Morgan McIntosh: University of Strathclyde
Mark Barthorpe: Transport for London
Kimberley Abbott: Thales UK
Howard Fielder: Royal Air Force
Lilian Knight: Thales UK
John Ritchie: 4C Design
John Devitry: Utah State University (Siemens)
Jason Phin: Siemens
Mike Jeschke: Siemens
If your school is registered to participate in one of our Leaders Awards or you are an engineer interested in inspiring children with the wonders of engineering and you would like more information about these events, please email the team on firstname.lastname@example.org