Bolton School Junior Boys

Inspiring a Generation of Engineers

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Dr Zubair Hanslot, the Provost of the University of Bolton, and James Kitson, one of the university’s lecturers, visited the Junior Boys’ School to talk to Year 6 pupils. The idea behind the visit was “careers through inspiration”: they hoped to reveal the exciting variety of places that a love of maths and science can lead to by showing pupils the many applications of engineering.

Dr Hanslot began by describing maths as just another language, which is used to communicate science. He also asked pupils about their current understanding of engineering, and helped them to gain a clearer picture of what engineers to. He said that engineering is “changing the world” through creating problem solving.

The talk was based around three questions: what, who and why? What is engineering and what do engineers do? Who are engineers and what type of people become engineers? Why does the world need engineers and why should pupils think about becoming an engineer?

In the process of answering these questions, they showed that engineering touches almost every aspect of pupils’ daily lives. They also showcased some of the technological marvels that engineers have helped to create, including artificial limbs. Also on the list were things that pupils may take for granted, from toothpaste to aeroplanes, all of which have to be carefully designed by different kinds of engineers. They also talked about the world’s tallest building, the 848m tall Burj Khalifa, and the world’s first artificial island, the Palm, both of which are in Dubai. They explained that these structures required engineers to come up with new and innovative building methods to successfully create them. Looking to the future, they talked about some issues engineers are currently tackling, for example the tricky task of integrating driverless cars onto today’s busy roads.

Finally, Dr Hanslot introduced Bolton University’s intelligent robot, Able. The boys learned how to programme Able at the end of the session.

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