Engineering stimulates QE boys at summer school

Two QE Sixth-Formers learned about cutting-edge aerospace and structural engineering technologies at summer schools held at universities.

William Forrester, of Year 12, and Marcus Rodin, of Year 13, took up places on courses organised by the educational charity, The Smallpeice Trust. The trust promotes engineering as a career through organising residential courses for people aged 12 to 18.

William (pictured immediately below) spent three days at Kingston University, southwest London, on an Aerospace Engineering course, learning about the basics of aircraft flight, the principles of lightweight structural design and the need for highly efficient propulsion systems. He operated a flight simulator and, working in a small team, was challenged to design and make a rocket-powered aircraft model designed for maximum glide range after launch. Looking ahead, William is keen to pursue a career in aerospace engineering.

""Marcus (pictured fourth from left below) attended the four-day Structural Engineering course at Coventry University. There he learned about fundamentals including pressures, stresses and strains, as well as the principles of statics, mechanics and materials. Marcus and his team also won a competition amongst the students to build a bridge with constraints such as a fixed budget and set test criteria, using the knowledge they had gained on the course. They were awarded the prize for “the best understanding of structural behaviour” following a presentation that they gave. The course helped to confirm Marcus’ desire to pursue a career in civil engineering, which he intends to study at university.

""“The courses offer students the opportunity to develop life skills such as teamwork, communication, problem-solving and time management,” said Claire Fisher, spokesperson for The Smallpeice Trust. “We also provide information about relevant degree courses under the guidance of technical specialists.”

The participants enjoyed the opportunity to socialise through games evenings, a trip to a local laser-tag game venue, bowling and a barbecue.