ACCIS CDT student supports My Future My Choice outreach events
8 August 2018
Over the last academic year Jim Cole, an EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced Composites for Innovation and Science (ACCIS CDT) student, has been supporting a number of My Future My Choice events for local primary and secondary school pupils.
My Future My Choice provides practical opportunities for young people to engage with the world outside school. Young people got to meet Jim via practical workshops, where they interviewed him about his role as a researcher, and then built functioning boats, cranes, aeroplanes.
Some of Jim’s workshop highlights have included:
Hydraulics and Lifting Engineering Workshop: December 2017
- Jim acted as a mentor to 10-year-old school children at the M-Shed Museum. Jim helped small groups of pupils take a kit of parts and a completed example to reverse-engineer and build a pneumatically powered robot arm, as well as visiting and operating the cargo crane on the Bristol harbour side.
Fantastic Flight – Aviation Workshops: March 2018
- Jim supported small teams of pupils at Nailsea School to learn the basic principles of flight, and build and test gliders. He then helped them design and build unique aircraft based on what they learned, which were capable of radio controlled powered flight.
Young Shipwright Workshops: June and July 2018
- Jim worked with Avonmouth and Wheatfield Primary school pupils in small groups to build cardboard models of historic Bristol boats such as the Matthew and Bristol Pilot Cutter. He then helped launch these into a race in Bristol Harbour during the Harbour Festival.
Jim said: “Volunteering in these workshops with My Future My Choice has been a highly rewarding experience. I really enjoyed guiding the pupils through their first steps into the world of engineering, and it was great to see in them the development of skills that are so important in adult life. I particularly enjoyed the moments where the pupils achieved something they didn’t expect they could.”
“I have personally improved my leadership skills through keeping the teams focused on the task, and it has also helped me to learn to explain my complex research topic in simpler terms, which will be key to sharing my knowledge throughout my PhD.”