So, after months of planning the Reece Summer School finally got underway on July 13th with 9 girls who applied from all across the North East of England. We have had a great time! When thinking about how to start the Reece Summer School, Beamish seemed the obvious choice. The North East is jam packed with great examples of engineering and has led the way globally for others to follow. Beamish allowed us the opportunity to get to know each other better and also reflect and appreciate the speed of change and the amazing advancements that have taken place over the last 100 years. I asked the girls “what will engineering look like in another 100 years from now?” Will solar power be archaic, will Beamish be staffed by artificial intelligence or, cars with wheels and drivers marveled at, as we now use driverless, hover machines? Who knows, and that is the exciting part of engineering. We do not yet know what the future will look like but STEM subjects are allowing us to create that future and the girls can be part of that, as can every other young person in the North East and beyond.
We also had the opportunity to spend three days at Nissan. The manufacturing plant was fascinating and if you have not been before, most definitely worth a visit. The speed and efficiency of staff was phenomenal. (We are a talented bunch in the north)! Over the three days the girls were put into teams and took part in the F1 challenge. We worked with Les who was very helpful and also met with a group of pupils from St Cuthberts, Newcastle who have made it through to the internationals for the F1 School Challenge, meaning they spend 10 days in Singapore, racing their very impressive car, staying in the Hard Rock Hotel, watching the Grand Prix, visiting Universal Studios and if they win, scholarships to University. After hearing this and that the next internationals are to be held in Dubai next year, the girls were extremely interested in the F1 challenge, so watch this space! Oh, and good luck to St Cuthberts.
I too have learnt a great deal this week and have experienced the vastness of engineering and the many types of engineering that the North East can offer. I have also enjoyed watching the girls grow in confidence as they get to know each other better, start to challenge themselves and think more deeply about engineering opportunities which may interest them in the future and where physics fits into it all.
The picture I have chosen is of the finished cars the girls made, in what was a very short space of time. Les was extremely impressed with how quickly they picked up Autocad Inventor. He had also never seen cars so colourful as these ones on the Nissan test track before… result!