The University of Sussex Formula Student team, Mobil 1 Sussex Racing, has recently been working with a large number of local school children to encourage them to follow a path into Engineering and other STEM subjects. This work has included hosting days for 120 Year 10 pupils taking part in CAD and electronics activities, presenting a school assembly and attending careers evenings.
Teenagers from four schools in Sussex have tried their hand at designing components for the formula student car using facilities at the University of Sussex run by the team members.
After seeing the car, the youngsters were set a series of tasks to give them a glimpse of the life of a modern engineer, such as using Computer Aided Design (CAD) software to create a wheel hub, and soldering an electrical circuit board replicating the cooling system.
The Design a Racing Car Day has been organised by the current Formula Student team at the university who wanted to do something to help increase the diversity of people studying engineering degrees.
Just before these activities they visited Burgess Hill Girls School to deliver an assembly on the engineering opportunities in higher education.
Following the team’s visit, Burgess Hill Girls School said: “They gave a great insight into the range of careers that engineering can lead to, from the designing of the chassis to the marketing and funding for the racing team.”
“One of the key messages was how women are really encouraged to enter the realm of engineering.”
Chris Mason in the University’s Widening Participation team works with around 80 partner schools to encourage under-represented groups to consider university or try a subject they might not have considered. He said: “We are delighted to continue our fruitful partnership with the University’s Formula Student team.
“The team have put together an engaging and exciting day for our Year 10s, giving them an insight into mechanical and electrical engineering.”
“Feedback has been excellent and Design A Racing Car Day is a fantastic addition to our portfolio of academic events.”
Chris Charles, Team Leader for the 2016/17 team said “Our work with local schools has been rewarding for both the team and the school pupils involved, with our aim being to increase the interest in STEM subjects, which ultimately we hope will result in these pupils again one day inspiring the next generation of young individuals. Further to this we are also welcoming a greater number of younger students into the team from across the University varying from Business Management, Product Design to Engineering disciplines.”
Find out more about the 13 strong Class 1 team on their website at www.sussex.ac.uk/sussexracing or their Facebook page – Mobil 1 Sussex Racing.
(taken from the Mobil 1 Sussex Racing article for the Institute of Mechanical Engineers)