IfM plays host to the next generation of engineers

The IfM played host to 29 GCSE students from Chelmer Valley High School, Chelmsford as part of an outreach project.

The fourteen and fifteen year-old students from the specialist engineering college enjoyed a day of fun activities. The students took part in a session that used the ‘just in time manufacturing’ or ‘JIT’ game to help understand the key points and processes of manufacturing and the fundamental differences of JIT manufacturing - setting up new systems which support only making what you know a customer actually requires.


Tim Minshall, Senior Lecturer in Technology Management, who recently received the Cambridge University Pilkington Prize for exceptional teaching, gave an enthusiastic and insightful presentation ‘What engineers really do’.


The students enjoyed lunch and a punt on the River Cam before returning to the IfM to face the crane construction challenge; a hands-on task which required skill and good understanding of key engineering principles to build a load bearing crane, using only paper and cardboard tubes as raw materials.


Suzanne Mycock, Director of Engineering at Chelmer Valley, said: “Chelmer Valley High School is delighted to once again work with the IfM. Our students have thoroughly enjoyed all the activities and they now have an informed and more realistic impression of what engineering is all about. It was on a previous visit that one of our students Richard Stephens, was inspired to read engineering at Cambridge and we were very proud to hear he recently gained a 1st class honour’s degree from King's College and is going on to study for his Masters.”


Outreach at Cambridge University Department of Engineering aims to introduce children to the fun and excitement of engineering in a university research environment. Provision is made for students and staff to inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists while developing their skills in communicating engineering ideas to a non-specialist audience.  The Department of Engineering develops and provides engineering resources for children, parents and teachers to use at home and in the classroom.

Date published

17 July 2012

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