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The Good Schools Guide Review of Beech House

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Students Enjoy Residential Engineering Courses

Monday, 16 September 2013

Several Bolton School students from Year 10 up to the Sixth Form took part in residential courses at Universities around the country over the summer, in partnership with The Smallpiece Trust.

The courses were part of an ongoing programme of residential schemes run by the Trust, aimed at promoting engineering as a career to young people aged 12-18.

Shyam Dhokia, Arran Ireland and Katherine Devine attended a four day Nuclear Engineering Course at the University of Manchester. They took part in a combination of presentations, workshops, practical design and make projects, and a final assessment which involved demonstrating their finished product, complete with design drawings, method statements and risk assessments. A variety of topics were tackled including radiation, the environment, health and safety and the decommissioning of nuclear plants. Masterclasses covering nuclear waste, alternative fission systems and Fukushima were also included.

James Seed attended a Marine Technology course at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, where he learned about naval architecture and marine engineering through a series of presentations, practical exercises and industrial visits. As part of a team he was tasked with designing a radio controlled replica of a large cargo ship to transport goods from Glasgow to Singapore.

Tejal Shanbhag attended the Designing Future Aircraft course at the University of Southampton where she was set the challenge of building a high performance computer from scratch, using components including processors and motherboards. Students had to apply a range of Microsoft technologies to the design of future aircraft to make them quieter, cleaner and cheaper and even got to take the controls of the university’s state of the art flight simulator.

Jennifer Heyes attended the Nanotechnology course at the University of Leeds where she enjoyed an exclusive view of the nanoworld through hands on experiments – making nanoparticles and biosensors, visiting the university’s nanotechnology clean rooms and using scanning probe microscopes to see atoms and molecules. Working in a team, she took on the ‘nanotechnology challenge’ – formulating proposals on how nanotechnology can be best used in society.

As well the learning from the academic side of the courses, the pupils also developed life skills such as teamwork, communication, problem solving, time management, finance and presentation skills.

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