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Students Visit Brunel University

In April a group of year 9 students visited Brunel University. Brunel is a world-class university based in Uxbridge, West London. The focus for the day was to highlight the importance of engineering and the subjects that are associated with it. 

 In April a group of year 9 students visited Brunel University. Brunel is a world-class university based in Uxbridge, West London. The focus for the day was to highlight the importance of engineering and the subjects that are associated with it. The subject areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) linked because of their importance to the made or engineered world. Engineering is behind everything – from your mobile phone and make up, to the car you travel in and the shoes on your feet. Studying the STEM subjects gives students the chance to be the creator of the latest must have gadgets or provide solutions to the world’s energy problems.

The day started with a guided tour around the university campus. The sight is like a small town with its own shops, banks, restaurants and gym. Year 9 students had a look at the accommodation with the shock that they would have to cook and clean up after themselves. Students moved on to look at the sports facilities which were closely linked to the area of sport science. These facilities are used by a lot of famous athletes including Usain Bolt.

The first tasks students had to tackle was to learn how to program a robot. First they had to learn the basics of python the language that the robots understand. The aim of the activity was to program the robot to go round the table edge without falling off. The first team to complete the task consisted of Katie Hobbs, Jake Long and Joe Write.

Students then visited the very large green room alongside some amazing software. Here they saw how special effects were produced for films and advertising. When they had finished here they realised why you need a degree in mathematics to be a computer game designer.

 The next department was the engineering department. Brunel specialises in car and aircraft design. Year 9 students had a close look at the formula university racing car and the science behind building light weight structures that were strong. In the aircraft building department students saw how scale models were built to test out potential aircraft designs. Alongside the physical models students accumulated a lot of mathematical data which was fed into a full scale flight simulator. Year   9 students had a chance to “fly” the simulator. A few brumby landings but nobody crashed.

The last task of the day was to do some code breaking. Students were taught the importance of encrypting data and had a chance to do some deciphering to find the secret message.

Most students came away feeling inspired and open to the fact they could be an inventor, designer or engineer.  If nothing else AVA now holds the record for the amount of subway rolls that can be eaten in a minute – well done Joe!