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Institute for Manufacturing reaches out to next generation

The Institute for Manufacturing at Cambridge University played host to a group of GCSE students from Chelmer Valley High School, Chelmsford yesterday as part of a project to educate young people about the opportunities available in the manufacturing sector.

Outreach at Cambridge University’s Department of Engineering has been hosting a variety of activities and events in order to inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists and improve the department’s communication skills when faced with a non-specialist audience.

The fourteen and fifteen year old students from the specialist engineering college Chelmer Valley High School enjoyed a day of activities including a session that used the just in time manufacturing (JIT) game to help them understand this fundamental manufacturing concept.

Tim Minshall, senior lecturer in technology management at IfM, who recently received the Cambridge University Pilkington Prize for exceptional teaching, gave an insightful presentation detailing ‘what engineers really do’. This highlighted the importance of an engineer’s role in the modern world and discussed the implications of new technological advancements.

The students enjoyed lunch and a punt on the River Cam before returning to face the crane construction challenge; a hands-on task which required skill and good understanding of key engineering rules to build a load bearing crane from paper and cardboard tubes.

Suzanne Mycock, director of engineering at Chelmer Valley said, “Chelmer Valley High School is delighted to once again work with the IfM. Our students have thoroughly enjoyed all the activities and they now have an informed and more realistic impression of what engineering is all about.”

Source: – 18 July 2012