Winter Newsletter 2016 - page 6

Year 9 Engineering pupils one step closer to F1 in
school's dream
As a teacher I've wanted to start a Greenpower project in school for a number of years, but cost and logistics have always been the
biggest hurdle. I've always thought of it as a Formula One for schools and just like Formula One, it costs a lot to play. Having the
support of the Rotary Club and the opportunity to build a Rotary Rocket has made it a possibility for our school. The Rotary Rocket
takes a number of unknowns out of the equation, the plans are clear enough to construct the car without being too prescriptive and
my pupils still have plenty of design and engineering work to get their teeth into.
When the Rotary Club approached me about the build I was determined to make the project accessible to as many pupils as possible
and not just create an afterschool club for a fortunate few. I decided to build the project into the Year 9 Engineering course. We
currently have just under 50 pupils working on the build between two classes. They still can't quite believe they are building a car.
They are set up like a formula one team with different departments made up of small groups of pupils. One team work on the
chassis, another on the electrical system, plus other teams on brakes, steering, and drive train.
While investigating the plans and regulations, they quickly realised they couldn't work in isolation and the teams are really pulling
together and sharing ideas/resources so they can get the car built. Once a team hits a hurdle or needs to know a particular piece of
engineering theory, we cover it as a whole class before the team apply it to their problem. The build can be made as simple, or as
tricky as you like. Each part can be tailored to the equipment and processes you have in school. An example of this is the brake disc
hub which is cast from aluminium in the plans, we don't have those facilities but can turn ours on a lathe from billet. The decisions
pupils need to make over materials and processes opens up real engineering discussion on the merits and pitfalls of each option. It is
real life, it is hands on and there are real consequences to their choices and mistakes. You can't ask for more than that in a project.
Engineering Design
Plane build update
The students have been working on the construction of the wings and
the central fuselage of the plane.
Every aspect of the plane build will have to meet strict Civil Aviation
Authority (CAA) standards. Everything has to be checked and signed off
and if it isn’t right then it has to meet the standard before they can
proceed.
We are happy to announce that David Salisbury recently visited and was
very impressed with the workmanship that has taken place so far and
has given us the go ahead to proceed with the build.
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