8th September 2023
On Friday 08th September, Berkeley Green UTC students were tasked to design a concept for an aerodynamic F1 in Schools race car.
In teams of 4-5, students practiced strategising and project-management by deciding each members’ role, and had to work together to develop a brand, logo and app/website, team uniform, and a CAD model/ technical diagram for their car. To extend the challenge, we also asked students to consider the environmental ethics of F1, to navigate the limitations imposed by a budget, and to deliver a professional team sponsorship presentation.
Our young professionals were visited and mentored throughout this challenge by engineers and education outreach officers from Renishaw, GE Aerospace, Ontic, RTX, Origin8tive, and Tony Gee civil engineering. Our returning employer partners hugely enjoyed the experience of interacting with students and were delighted to see how UTC students have developed over their time with us. Our brand new employer partners, Origin8tive, Ontic and Tony Gee were blown away by the ability of Berkeley Green students and thoroughly enjoyed the challenges posed by the project concept. Brand new students were also given the opportunity to interact with our employer partners and to learn from their experience in industry. We strongly believe that our consistency and dedication in providing these employer interactions will make industry more accessible to young people, build their networking skills, and give them unique insight and inspiration towards their future careers.
We didn’t really know what to expect from our first visit to Berkeley Green UTC, but came away extremely impressed by the students and the facilities available to them; if only there had been something like it during our school years! It was fascinating to observe the students settle into their project groups and start cracking on with the tasks involved, particularly given that, for some of them, it was only their second day ever attending Berkeley Green UTC and they didn’t know each other. It was amazing to see how much each of the groups achieved in just a morning’s work, and the presentations given by our sponsored form group 10-O8 were remarkably good! Berkeley Green’s focus on STEM vocations and producing highly employable young people was very apparent, and Origin8tive are very excited by the future opportunities to get involved in supporting this. – Lisa Hunt, Origin8tive.
So many teams approached this challenge with incredible professionalism. From in-depth materials research to showing their mathematical workings in aerodynamics, we saw some extraordinarily meticulous designs. UTC projects provide an opportunity to put technical and academic skills, from both the optional and core curriculum, into practice alongside public speaking, adaptive problem-solving and time-management, all of which are highly valuable in the workplace. On Friday, students absolutely did the school proud by giving their all to this project and showing those specialist skills and professional attitudes which merit their place at Berkeley Green.
Berkeley Green’s Project Days are the perfect example of why University Technical Colleges exist. The talent and enthusiasm displayed for the Formula 1. Project by this year’s new student intake is beyond impressive. The remarkable progress that final year students had made since joining as new starters was on full display for the F1 Project, with them confidently displaying their skills and holding professional conversations with potential employers and taking a keen interest in the various industry representatives who were in attendance. Such progress would not be possible without the dedicated support of each and every member of Berkeley Greens academic team. I cannot wait for the next one!
– Rob Grey, Ontic