Students from schools across Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset were given the fantastic opportunity to participate in a two day programme, organised by City of Bristol College and funded by a grant from Rolls Royce.
The College’s ‘Flight Path’ Aeronautical Engineering Programme at their Advanced Engineering Centre enabled students to learn about the principles of flight and flight controls, be introduced to basic aircraft maintenance, learn how turbojet engines work by engaging with a real engine and building a working model in teams.
College’s EASA Aircraft Maintenance Course student, Arslan Ashfaq, led activities in partnership with College tutors. He commented: “The activity that most impressed the students was being able to view the colossal CF-56 Jet Engine in the hanger. For some students, this was the first time they were even this close to an aircraft engine.”
Alongside this, students developed their technical skills through soldering circuit components on a printed circuit board, which provided them with a good understanding of the precision and accuracy required to be an engineer.
Jenna Howells, student at Bridge Learning Campus secondary school, commented: “My favourite part of the week was the practical activities, they inspired me and I know now that I want to become an engineer.” Charlotte Voyce from Colston Girls’ School continues in detail: “I loved learning about how a plane becomes airborne and the pressure and velocity changes that are a part of this process.”
“The students were eager to learn about the various careers available to them within the Engineering sector and were all actively engaging with the project. The students were professional and it was a delight to show them the functional uses of the Aircrafts” concluded Arslan.
Sherene Meir, Wider College Curriculum Developer who ran the project alongside tutors, reflected: “The students asked excellent questions, which furthered their engineering knowledge. The engineering lecturers and I were very impressed with their engagement and enthusiasm. The young people’s knowledge of different careers in the aeronautical engineering industry improved from this experience and the majority also said that they increased their understanding of apprenticeships.”
The extension at College’s Advanced Engineering Centre (AEC) will bring together the College’s existing engineering, aeronautical and manufacturing courses in one place, providing state-of-the-art industry facilities including workshops, laboratories, computer aided simulation rigs and testing/diagnostic equipment. The Engineering Centre will be expanded by a third and is expected to open in the Autumn term.