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School Students Experience Engineering

UCL and the Engineering Development Trust (EDT)

Over 80 students from London and surrounding areas visited UCL Engineering for two day-long workshops in mechanical and electrical engineering as part of the Engineering Education Scheme run by the Engineering Development Trust (EDT). The partnership between UCL Engineering and the EDT and the achievements of the students participating was celebrated on the 27th March.

The Engineering Education Scheme (EES) is now in its 30th year, and aims to give 16 and 17 year old students an in-depth experience in science, engineering and technology. Working in teams with their teachers, they join with local companies and universities to work on real scientific, engineering and technological problems that enable them to make an informed decision about their future studies and career path.

UCL is currently the only London university participating in the scheme. The Faculty welcomed 86 young people – half girls and half boys, as for all outreach activities offered by UCL Engineering. Working in small teams with their teachers, they tackled problems such as enabling the reuse of timber used in building and detecting infected people travelling through an airport. All teams were helped by a ‘business mentor’ volunteer from companies such as Selex and ARUP.

Students participating in the scheme said:

“This scheme gave me the opportunity to discover more about engineering, and really inspired me to continue along this route”

“The EES [Engineering Experience Scheme] workshop at UCL was good because it gave us a chance to use machines that are not available in school and to get familiar with the environment of university”

“I really enjoyed having the engineers’ input and working with them to develop my ideas”

Dr John Mitchell, Director of UCL’s unique Integrated Engineering Programme spoke about the engineering education UCL aspires to and what the world needs from future engineers.

Dr Elpida Makrygianni, Education Co-ordinator for UCL Engineering, said

“We are delighted to have partnered with EDT to bring the Engineering Education Scheme to schools in London and the South East. The scheme is very much in tune with what we do at UCL Engineering, through both the Integrated Engineering Programme (IEP) for our undergraduate students and our extended pre-19 engineering engagement activities.”

Dr Benn Thomsen, Senior Lecturer, UCL Electronic & Electrical Engineering said

“I had a really enjoyable day, helping enthusiastic year 12 students, to to design and build solutions for problems inspired by the companies who were involved in mentoring the students . It was great to see, over the course of the two days, their designs go from ideas and sketches on paper to real working prototypes.” 

The EES format has so far provided over 30,000 experiences for young people across the UK. It enables employers and universities to inspire, get engineering skills in schools, and collaborate with students on real projects.