MTC helps pupils go robotic
Date: Monday 16 March 2015
MTC project to enthuse girls into engineering careers
Four pupils from a Rugby girls’ school have been designing and building a robot in a joint project with the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry. The project aims to encourage girls to consider a career in engineering.
The A-Level students from Rugby High School for Girls have been embarking on a project to build a programmable single arm robot. The project is titled, “A robot demonstrator to inspire the next generation,” and is supported by the Engineering Education Scheme.
Guided by MTC apprentice training manager Tim Kyte and engineer Stefan Winkvist the team has designed and built the robot and programmed it to stack cylinders, demonstrating speed and repeatability versus a human. They have also designed a lesson around the robot to demonstrate it to Year 8 pupils.
The girls – Hannah Marchant, Hannah Cooper, Simran Johal and Gursharan Bassan - have also attended a four-day residential course at the University of Birmingham to show them how to present their findings.
MTC chief executive Clive Hickman said the girls had thrown themselves into their task enthusiastically and the project had opened their eyes to the possibilities of a career in engineering.
“This valuable project tackles two issues. Firstly it encourages youngsters to see the possibilities of careers in engineering and making things, and it also makes it clear that there are no barriers to girls joining the industry. The fact that the pupils then go on to demonstrate their work to younger pupils is an extra dimension,” he said.
Pupil Hannah Cooper said:
“When we first visited the MTC we were amazed at how engineering is so different from what we first thought. The facility is fantastic and filled with highly-skilled engineers.”
Hannah Marchant said:
“We experienced CAD which is the first time I have used such a brilliant type of software. Under guidance from two MTC apprentices I was able to create an animated model of our project. Then we had to transfer this drawing onto a Trotec laser in the workshop – which was easier to do than I thought, although we did have a highly-skilled MTC engineer with us!”
The Engineering Education Scheme, supported by industry aims to link teams of youngsters and their teacher with manufacturing companies and organisations to work on real scientific, engineering or technical problems.
The six-month project is aimed at encouraging industrial enterprise, innovation and creativity while gaining experience of problem-solving, teamwork and project management.