Engineering – A unique approach to foundational principles.
Engineers are in high demand across the UK right now. Our half day engineering sessions bring together all of the best hands on elements of the STEM subjects with a particular focus on Engineering. Complex theories are broken down and presented in manageable chunks through fun hands on activities, games and experimentation.
Each term students will be introduced to a new topic. So far we have covered tall structures, bridges and the canal network – we have a democratic approach to choosing which topic comes next and our students are integral to helping to develop the ongoing course.
As with all of everything we do these sessions are fully inclusive, designed around a set of small achievable goals and benefit from the option of additional one to one support. We spend as much time as possible outside grounding any abstract theories through interacting with the tangible evidence all around us.
Families may also choose to register for the AQA unit award scheme and receive certificates as a record of their achievement and progression within the subject.
Below is a breakdown of the first three sessions of block 1 as an example of the topics and approaches we will be using on this course. The teaching methods are flexible and will be altered in line with the students’ ability, preference, passion and learning styles in order to make sure the course is fully inclusive and of course lots of fun.
Week 1 – Design Thinking and Tall Structures
Students will be introduced to the concept of tall structures using the father of skycrapers, Fazlur Rahman Khan’s tubular design theory as a base. They will make their own set of surveying tools, discuss and define what ‘tall’ means and use trigonometry taught through hands on experiments to find the height of buildings.
Week 2 – Shapes and Their Strength In Buildings
The work of Buck Minster Fuller features heavily this week with students getting to grip with the tensile strength of different shapes within building and the way they interact with one another. They will answer the question ‘ what is the strongest shape for a building?’ and ‘which shape holds the heaviest load?’
Week 3 – Withstanding Natural Disasters
Using hands on experiments and games, students explore the impact of extreme weather systems on infrastructure and design. Building on the skills and knowledge from the previous sessions they will investigate and build their own tall structure using dampeners to counteract the force of strong winds, earthquakes and eddies.