What could be better than getting back home to your carbon neutral house and knowing that a cold drink awaits you in your fridge – no panic dashes to the supermarket?
Two teams of Physics A level students have brought this happy life a step closer by taking part in the 2016 Engineering Education Scheme (EES). This week was the grand finale: the assessment day in the University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield.
Team 1 has been working with ARM on a smart fridge, which can keep tabs on which foodstuffs are going in and out, and let users know when stocks are low. Team 2 has been working with environmental building services company Couch Perry Wilkes designing a carbon neutral house, which involved architectural as well as mechanical and electrical engineering skills.
Both teams had to set up a display stand and give a 15-minute presentation to a panel of professional engineers who worked in the field that covered the project. It’s a pretty daunting task to enter an unknown room with four unknown adults looking on and set up and run a Powerpoint presentation on an unknown computer and screen.
Our two teams had good feedback from the assessors on their presentations. The assessment judges then visited the display stands and asked questions about each project, how well the team worked, what problems the team members faced and how they solved them.
Our students were a credit to Long Road Sixth Form College and gave excellent answers to all the questions posed: many quite searching, as the panel explored how well they had done against the design brief from their organisation. Mentors from both ARM and Couch Perry Wilkes (CPW) were present and made valuable suggestions on the display and the presentations, and gave some input onto the questions from the professional engineers.
Students were then able to circulate and talk to the other teams. Seeing the wide range of projects was inspirational: from a Mars rover to a centrally locking bicycle!
All the students received congratulations from the EES team.
Our project with ARM “Smartshelf” was put forward for the most marketable innovation award.
Photos clockwise from top left: ARM Smart fridge project: Henry Hutchinson, Ross Huggins, Jonah Perry, Joshua Bailey and Matthew Morris. Teacher Sue Bridgeland is second right; programming the smart fridge; CPW Carbon Neutral building; talking about the carbon neutral building with a judge: Georgina Shorey, Harry Robinson, Natalia Adamson and (just visible) Ben Anderson.