Mechanical Engineering at Birmingham is actively involved in educational outreach, locally and nationally. Our engineers and educators have created innovative courses and classroom materials for teaching STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) to primary and secondary school students, spanning a number of different age groups.
We aim to:
- Promote awareness of engineering as a choice of future study and career among young people
- Promote understanding and enthusiasm for engineering science among young people and the wider public
- Enhance STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) education in general, by using exciting engineering challenges to provide meaningful and motivating scenarios within which to teach core maths and science principles.
In May 2015, Mr Carl Hingley, Senior Automotive Technician at the School, received the national award from the Engineering Development Trust for his continuing and outstanding support with it’s Engineering Education Scheme, This was followed by Carl receiving a British Empire Medal in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours for his services to higher education, STEM education and the automotive industry.
Recognition of our outreach has continued to go from strength to strength. In March 2015, Ms Naomi Green (Biomedical Engineering Research Group) won the “I’m an Engineer Get me Out of Here” contest. This is an online outreach activity where school students interact with engineers through live chats and an online forum where they can ask anything. This success was followed by Naomi receiving the Outreach award at the University of Birmingham-College of Engineering and Physical Sciences Student Societies’ Awards ceremony in June 2015.
Events and activities
The University of Birmingham Wednesday Masterclasses are designed to stimulate enquiry and broaden knowledge of the subject area covered. The University run over 50 sessions per year; some relate closely to the school curriculum; others are broader and introduce new topics found in higher education study. It will give your students the opportunity to take part in a learning experience within a higher education setting. In November 2015, staff from Mechanical Engineering will deliver the first Biomedical Engineering: Accident and Emergency Engineering Masterclass.
EPS Discovery Day, Engineering Taster Day, Work Experience Week, Summer School and Girls into STEM Day
The Department offers several days during the year, when secondary school students can visit us, have a tour of the school, and participate in hands-on activities to find out more about engineering.
Visits to schools and colleges - including specialist expert talks and mentoring
It is possible for us to arrange for one of our engineering school members to visit your school, and give a talk on an area of state-of-the-art engineering research and/or an overview of University of Birmingham Mechanical Engineering degree opportunities. It may also sometimes be possible for a group of your students to arrange a skype seminar with one of our subject-experts. Members of the Department of Mechanical Engineering often also visit schools to run engineering related activities, promote engineering as a career and participate in numerous roles, such as mentors and project judges, amongst others.
The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair
Members of the Department participate at the yearly Big Bang Fair held at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. In 2014, Mr Carl Hingley and the UoB racing team were invited to display their formula racing car simulator at the education event. Over a 2 day period, an incredible 19,000 visitors saw the car, and 2,000 members of the public sat in the car and drove the simulator. Members of the School, also engage with the event, taking on volunteering and judging roles, amongst others.
University of Birmingham Formula Student Team (UBRacing Team)
Formula Student is a student engineering competition, where teams from universities from all over the world design, manufacture and race Formula-style single-seater race cars. The UBRacing team is one of the key components of the School’s Outreach activities. It takes part in various Outreach activities including, the Big Bang Fair, the British Science Festival 2014 hosted at the University of Birmingham and the annual Community Day held at the University or Birmingham, amongst many other activities. The Community Day was devised to encourage young children to engage with STEM subjects. UBRacing display their car simulator at Outreach activities and encourage young future undergraduates to have a test drive and attempt to set the fastest lap around the testing circuit at Bruntingthorpe.
The feedback from the UBRacing Team after the 2014 Community day demonstrates the importance that UBRacing has within Outreach:
Community day was a great thing for us. It helped us to inspire young budding engineers and created some new links with local people with useful knowledge. The queue of people outside the tent all day was great, there was never a lapse in the enthusiasm, people were always wanting to learn more about us, and more importantly see how big a crash they could have in the simulator.
Press reports and publications about our educational outreach work
For further information please contact