Young Engineers reach competition final - with a little help from Staffordshire University
Three local high schools sponsored by Staffordshire University have reached the finals of the KMF Young Engineer of the year competition 2015.
Engineering experts from the University have been helping local high school students design innovative gadgets using the latest 3D printer technology for the competition which challenges Year 10 students to create a product and pitch it to industry professionals.
The University sponsored 3D printing equipment for St Peters Academy, Sandon Business Enterprise and Arts College and The Co-Operative Academy and Senior Lecturer in Engineering Chris Wayman has been closely involved in helping the students with their projects.
"It's so important to support innovation and get youngsters engaged, especially with engineering. There's a huge shortage of people in the profession at the moment and the world needs more engineers."
"It also helps the students develop their business and communication skills. They're learning how to present their ideas professionally." Chris added.
"It's been great working with the school and colleges, it gets the pupils enthusiastic. It's been really interesting seeing what they've come up with - they've had some great ideas."
Pupils from Sandon College designed a 'smartband' bracelet for dementia patients, enabling carers to track their location incorporating RFID technology.
Gavin Davies, a Staffordshire University graduate, teaches design technology at the college.
"The students have been extremely focused and driven throughout the competition and having Chris on board has also meant that they felt the project had a true purpose as well as feeling that someone other than their teacher was bothered about their opinion."
"Using the 3D printer meant that the students could quickly create a product that allowed them to identify faults and improvements that they wouldn't have normally been able to do with just a design on a piece of paper."
"I feel that links with the university are extremely important. Working with Staffordshire University has shown them that they have a brilliant educational establishment that is at the forefront of technological advancements a stones-throw from their front door.
The students presented their projects at a 'Dragon's Den meets the Gadget Show' event at the Britannia Stadium last week and teams from each of the University's sponsored schools went through to the next stage of the competition.
The St Peters Academy team designed the HOPE POD, a device delivered by quad-copter to provide quick and response from emergency services and the Co-Operative Academy designed a smart phone case with integrated torch.
The successful teams will be judged at the final on June 18th, hosted by Jason Bradbury from Channel 5's The Gadget Show.
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