STEM Day at Brunel University London
This month, thirty students from Year 9 were given an amazing opportunity to visit Brunel University to participate in exciting STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) activities at Brunel University London,
First, we learned about the principles of welding through a fun, hand-on activity which involved the welding of chocolate. Welding is fundamentally the joining of two objects together using heat and filler material. The filler material is heated until it melts, allowing it to pool between two objects, resulting in a strong joint.
Next, we explored key concepts of physics through designing a model car. We learned that in motor racing, the air that travels beneath the race car is just as significant as the air that passes above it. The angle at which passing air must be deflected lowers as the car’s speed increases. As the high pressure air on top of the car pushes it downwards, the airflow accelerates beneath the floor, creating a lower pressure area and as a result, generating force. The diffuser increases the airflow by expanding it and making it faster. It was astonishing to learn that body panels such as the engine cover, damper and side pods can be made from recycled carbon fibre reinforced with a polyester resin comprising 30% recycled bottles thanks to the advanced technology.
Our third activity was ‘Sphero,’ a robotic ball that can be controlled using smart phones or tablets. It can be driven around and used to play games. Through engaging with this ball we were able to learn the fundamental STEM principles of programming and engineering. It was a great fun to change its colour, manoeuvre it round the path and race it.
‘Immersive Dome Experience’ was the last activity. It used a combination of visual, audio and technology and provided us all with an engaging and memorable experience. It was a dome-based multimedia show that taught us about the space station. The space station serves as a home for astronauts. It is a unique science laboratory, where several nations work together. The ‘International Space Station’ (ISS) allows long-term space exploration while also benefiting humans on the Earth. The ISS is made up of a series of solar-powered, cylindrical modules, which cooled by loops that radiate heat. The station is the size of a football field, and the construction is still ongoing!
I was thrilled with excitement from the moment I stepped into the university campus. I enjoyed all of the activities we did throughout the day, especially chocolate welding; my team won the first place in this challenge. It was an incredible experience to work with artificial intelligent robots. All of the workshops’ competitive parts were a great fun, as they gave us a purpose to work hard as a team. This taught us the importance of teamwork. The ambassadors, who were continuously circulating around during the activities, were extremely accommodating, giving us hints and suggestions when we got stuck on our tasks. It was a wonderful day!