Presidential Visit Oct 2019Technical Lecture Automobile Division Chair’s Address - 100 Years of Bentley MotorsWirral Arts Festival – How engineering and technology are transforming the healthcare sector!Technical Lecture - The U-Battery, providing local low carbon energy? Visit to the Queensway (Birkenhead) TunnelNew Members Event July 2019Technical Visit to Hoylake Station- June 2019Technical Visit – Tata Steel- Apr 19Technical Lecture Arion 5- Feb 19Atlas Copco Visit- Nov 2018Energy Storage Talk- Nov 2018Wirral Arts Festival- Oct 2018Urenco Site Visit July 2018New Members Event July 2018UAS Challenge June 2018Community Hydro visitCammell Laird- Apprentice VisitEESW Big Bang - March 2018Annual Dinner - March 2018Land Rover 4x4 Schools Technology Challenge Jan 18Space Debris Jan 2018IMechE Engineering Heritage Award - The Daniel Adamson - a fully restored 1903 steam shipEngineering Your Future Careers all day Event- NOv 17Vist to Vauxhall Motors Ellesmere Port Nov 2017Quadcopter Challenge - Nov 2017School's Challenge - Nov 2017Skills Cymru 2017Engineering Your Future Careers all day Event - OctWales GB Rally - Oct 2017Region Supporting Team Falcon F1 in SchoolsWales National Eisteddfod - August 2017Presidential Visit and Annual Dinner - March 2017Bangor Science Festival - March 2017Solar Vehicles - Jan 2017Wave Energy Technical Lecture - Nov 2016Technical Visit to Toyota (Deeside Plant) - May 2016Wales GB RallyRegion Supporting Team Tachyon F1 in SchoolsTechnical Visit to RWEs Dolgarrog Hydro Site - May 2016Technical Visit to Electroimpact - May 2016Breaking the Human Powered land speed record - April 2016EESW Big Bang Event and IMechE Award - April 2016Farwell to Magnox - Seminar - Oct 2015From Formula 1 to Everyday Use (part of the Heswall Arts Festival ) 1 Oct 2015Vehicle Technology: Where Next? 1st Oct 2015Visit to Hoylake Lifeboat Station - Sept 2015Technical Visit to the Anderton Boat Lift - Oct 2013Bright Lights and Engineering Technical Seminar June 2015The History and Design of the Sea PloughYoung Person of the Year 2009 AwardVisit to the Deeside Power StationOpTIC TechniumSustainable EnergyProcessing Energy from WasteSir Alec Issigonis The man and his machineWaterside Most Improved Apprentice 2009Wales National Eisteddfod 2019

Wales National Eisteddfod 2019

The National Eisteddfod is the foremost cultural event in Wales lasting 8 days and attracting an average of about 20,000 people daily to enjoy all aspects of the arts. It is also an opportunity to engage with the public and young people to promote Engineering and Science. As a departure from previous years of a single large Pavilion, the concept of a Science Village was introduced this year with participants occupying a number of wooden huts, in addition to a smaller capacity pavilion. A Show Dome was provided for Science shows, as well as a planetarium.

As in the past, IMechE participation is through a Joint Engineering Institution umbrella of the Engineering & Science Group North Wales. This year we attended alongside our colleagues in the IET and ICE. We also invited EESW (Engineering Education Scheme Wales) to bring their Robotics Challenge and BBC Micro bit robots activity to the stand. Located within the pavilion, our stand enjoyed a generous amount of space allowing us to engage well with the visitors.

Volunteers from all the professional bodies helped us to man interactive activities promoting STEM. All three professional bodies provided a fairly equal number of volunteers as well as a few from the STEM Wales Ambassador hub. In total we had 38 volunteers dedicating a number of days to the event. Typically, we required about 10 volunteers a day during the week, with a few less at weekends when some activities were not taking place.

Our stand had various interactive activities such as LED torch making (IET) and our own Mindstorm EV3 Rubic cube solver. We also used the new VR headsets as an additional engagement activity showing Apollo 11 moon landing, as well as some dinosaurs! 

ICE brought along a desk top bridge building exercise which required skill to balance both 
sides of the structure during construction to avoid collapse.

The Robotics challenge gave youngsters an opportunity to carry out coding of a Robot to tackle various tasks and proved to be popular. Youngsters were also able to control Microbit robots around obstacles as well as design a rally car for the Wales Rally in October. 

Outside the Pavilion, we had the popular ICE Bridge for Schools activity where teams of 
youngsters of all ages can build a suspension bridge with a photo opportunity to walk over on completion. Hard work for the volunteers who helped with this activity! 

The siting of the ICE Bridge this year was in a prominent location and was popular all week 
apart from the final Saturday when rain stopped any bridge building. Our team also ran a 1hour daily Engineering Challenge between Monday and Friday inclusive, using Knex kits. This was a challenge previously used at local schools which involved building a motorised device to climb up a smooth bore pipe. On each day, we had a number of teams of youngsters competing. The winners and runners up received a substantial cash prize.

This daily challenge was aimed at secondary schools. The DVLA (with Lego) ran a separate daily challenge for younger children. 

A Chemistry show was held a number 4 times a day in the show dome. This was well 
attended by participants of all ages. Also 5 shows a day were held in the planetarium with strict registration needed to cope with the capacity. Again, very popular.

Other participants in the Village and Pavilion included:

 Bangor, Aberystwyth, Cardiff Universities

 Royal Society of Chemistry

 IOP(W)

 Colwyn Bay Zoo

 Llandrillo Coleg Menai Group

 Cancer Research UK

 DVLA with Lego

 Technocamps with Glyndwr University

As an additional experience this year, Zip World erected a Zip Wire adjacent to the Village.

The age group of children engaging in activities within the Science Pavilion is typically up to age 15 years. However, we received numerous enquiries from parents and older children regarding careers opportunities in engineering and other STEM subjects.

The official figures indicate just under 7000 people visited the Science Village this year with 2,800 attending the science shows that were organised daily. The following numbers may also be of interest: regarding the Engineering Group participation:

 ICE Bridge (6days): 36 bridge builds, 630 youngsters participating

 IET torches: 654

 Engineering Challenge (17 teams, 5 days): 38 youngsters of which 11 were girls

 EESW Robotics challenge 600+

As in previous years the event proved to be a success. Our volunteers enjoyed the experience and would like to repeat their participation in future years. Approaches already received from teachers in the Region asking if we can arrange visits to promote STEM at their schools.

Feedback from visitors was extremely positive with families staying in the Science village for long periods of time.

A total of 10 IMechE members volunteered during the week. 4 Young members indicated that they would be interested in the YMP activities, details passed to Ethan and Laura.

Gareth Cemlyn Jones

Past Chairman Merseyside & North Wales Region

16th August 2019

 


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