Birmingham’s School of Mechanical Engineering is actively involved in educational outreach, locally, nationally and internationally. 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.
A collaboration between Royal Institution and UoB robotics experts has recently won an Ingenious award from Royal Academy of Engineering. The project will train young engineers from both industry and academia to communicate their work to young people via a number of outreach activities.
Carl Hingley and the UoB racing team were invited to display their formula racing car simulator at the recent Big Bang education event at National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham. 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.
Events and activities
Masterclasses: 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.
EPS Discovery Day, Experience Week and Girls Into Stem Day: we offer 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: it is sometimes possible for us to arrange for one of our engineering faculty 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.
Royal Institution Summer Schools: our Senior Birmingham Fellow in Robotics, Dr. Rustam Stolkin, runs a one week Robotics Summer School each year at the Royal Institution of great Britain. This course is open to all young people, ages 13-17. Ri also offers a variety of other engineering masterclasses. For more details see here .
Curricula – engineering education classroom materials for teachers: we have been involved in international collaborations to develop educational outreach materials for engineering education. SENSE-IT is an innovateive program, sponsored by US National Science Foundation, in which secondary school students build, calibrate, program and deploy their own environmental sensor networks, for measuring water quality in their local rivers. See here for more details. We have also developed curricula for helping secondary school students learn core STEM subjects while building fully functioning underwater robots in the classroom (video wmv format).
Press reports and publications about our educational outreach work
L. Hotaling, S. Lowes, R. Stolkin, P. Lin, J. Bonner. “Student-created water quality sensors”. American Society for Engineering Education, Annual Conference, 2013.
L. Hotaling, R. Stolkin, S. Lowes. "Teaching high-school science through the design, construction and deployment of environmental sensors" Advances in Engineering Education, Journal of the ASEE, Special Issue on K-12 Engineering Education and Outreach, 2012.
R. Stolkin, L. Hotaling, R. Sheryll, C. Chassapis, B. McGrath, K. Sheppard. “A paradigm for vertically integrated curriculum innovation – how curricula were developed for undergraduate, middle and high school students using underwater robotics”. International Conference on Engineering Education, 6 pages, 2007.