Schools Activities -2013


Dorset ASSET and IMechE - Dorchester Schools Liaison Officer
Septernber 2012 to August 2013


The following work is jointly funded by Dorset ASSET, the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (Dorchester) and the Schools, Parents and Pupils themselves.

Budmouth College
The Design Club participated in a Quinetiq competition to investigate boat design parameters, to a set specification and motor.  We produced experimental model hull designs and then built a remote controlled model boat to our final design.  This was planned for a national race at Haslar hydrodynamics facility, but in the end we did not go this year.  This was a great experience for our all girls team.  The Tech Club resumed in  the summer term, designing and building their own projects.

We built a Greenpower Car in 2010/11 and are still working on a second lightweight version for the 2013/14 race season.

Textiles, Food Technology and Design Projects for GCSEs, A levels and the Valter Prize were assessed from Easter to June 2013.  Lauren Beeston won the Gwen Kent Fashion prize presenting an amazing dress and portfolio for a Year 11 student.

Broadmayne First School and Frome Valley CE VA First School
We took a 70-seat coach to “Explore @ Bristol” (see below) on 18 June 2013.  We left at 08.15, arrived at 10.45, stay until 15.00 and arrived back at 17.30.  We took 50 Year 4s plus 10 adults.

We also took the Year 4s from Broadmayne First School to the “Durlston Country Park” (see below)  for a Science Field Day on 28 March 2013.  We arrived at 10.30 and left at 14.15.  We took 28 Year 4s and 7 adults.

Piddle Valley CE First School, Puddletown CE First School and Cheselbourne Village School
We took a 70-seat coach to “Explore @ Bristol” (see below) on 23 April 2013. We left at 08.00 and got back at 17.00. We took 33 Year 4s plus 10 adults.

We also took the Year 4s from Piddle Valley CE First School, Puddletown CE First School to the “Durlston Country Park” (see below) for a Science Field Day on 9 July 2013. We arrived at 10.30 and left at 14.30.  We took 33 Year 4s and 8 adults.

Budmouth College (A-Stars)
Budmouth College have a parent run sub-group A-Stars drawn from their Autitistic Base Group.  This year we took 63 Autistic children and Carers to “Explore @ Bristol” on 9th April.  The response was so great that some parents went by car and train.  This was a truly amazing experience for the young peple and their carers; some of whom havent been out of Weymouth before.  Although anxious, the free and easy nature of “Explore @ Bristol” worked magic for them.

COSTS (Based on 2012 Costs)

The cost of an “Explore @ Bristol” trip is about £500 to £550 for a 70 seater coach, plus about £325 for entry fees; say £850.

The cost of a “Durlston County Park” trip is about £220 to £230 for a coach plus around £100 for Ranger guides, say £330.

So the cost for both trips is thus approximately £850 + £330 = £1180.

Usually Dorset Asset provide £375 towards this, IMechE Dorchester £200 and the staff, pupils and the schools £605; per school group visit.

in 2013 Dorset Asset provided £375 towards the Broadmayne/Frome Valley and the A-Stars trips, with the balance from the ImechE, students and schools/A-stars.

The Piddle Valley/Puddletown trips were funded by the IMechE, students and schools, although there was an amount left from last years Dorset Asset fund, as we squeezed into one coach in the end.


Durlston Country Park

Durlston Country Park provides a really excellent day that I strongly recommend.  The staff are really good at explaining how scientists work from the evidence around, to work out how the birds, fishes, animals and vegetation evolved and adapted in this area.  We then go outside into the local habitats to find examples and the rangers explain why they were there, based on food-chains and adaptations to the environment.  Then they present the local bird population and show us models. We can also see right into one of the nesting colonies over the cliffs, via a video camera set-up.  We go out onto the cliff tops and look down to see the species wheeling below us.

This year we visited the new Durlston Castle 'Visitor Experience' with it's panoramic fly-over of the Jurassic Coast and cliffs, and 'The Rock' experiential room.

Also new in 2013 the Rangers had collected an amazing collection of moths, the night before, and introduced the children close up to ten or so different types ,which they could have, very carefully, perched on their fingers.

Explore @ Bristol

“Explore @ Bristol” provides young people with a wonderful day of totally hands on experience of many aspects of science and engineering.  They are always enthused and inspired as you can see from the Thank You letters provided for the funders.  Many students persuade their parents to take them back! There is a huge amount of learning when guided by Dorset Asset, IMechE and Staff.  The planetarium is inspirational and the 20 minute demonstrations are explosive!

Steve Stubbing
Schools Liaison Officer - Dorchester Area
30th August 2013

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