Day 6: Bel Valves
Week two started with a morning trip to British engines or ‘Bel Valves’, that is about a 5 minute drive from the university. When we first got there we had a talk about what the company does and why valves are so important to the oil and gas industry. We then got into three small groups and had a discussion with one of the apprentices at Bel Valves and why they would recommend it. To finish off our visit to Bel Valves we were given a tour around the workshop floor and shown some of the huge valves that would be put under the seabed. Once we got back we had lunch and started work again at the university at 1, I wrote up my blog for the previous week and towards the end of the day my group, Melinda, Eleanor and I, had a chat with Emma about the project on Nepal and how we might go about it, which really helped with forming a better idea of how to come about the research and what to look for.
Day 7: Reece Innovation
The next day we were at REECE innovation in the morning, which is situated on Scotswood road, where the Armstrong factory used to be. We were given a talk about the company and how it started and then a discussion with Simone who had done a Physics degree and discussed with us what you can do with a Physics degree, which I found particularly interesting. We then toured the factory and looked at some of the testing that need to be done before they make a product for a company. In the afternoon we were taken back to the university to work on our projects and start to collect all of the information we would need to write up our reports that would eventually be condensed to put on an Academic poster. Through most of that afternoon I focused on looking at the relief that was given to Nepal by other countries.
Day 8–10: Think Physics Lab
On Wednesday morning we started off with continuing with our research from the previous day and then at about 10:30 we were invited to have a talk from Dr Robert Hilton from Durham university on earthquakes, the science of them and the effect in an LEDC country compared to in a MEDC country (Nepal and New Zealand). This talk I felt made me realise how much of a difference an earthquake can have on a country depending on how prepared and how developed they are. In the afternoon we went into the lab at think physics with one of the technicians and had a talk about acoustic waves and how damaging they can be.
Thursday morning started with us talking with Sarah about how to set up an academic poster and what we should think about putting on it. For the rest of the day we were allowed to continue with our research and I started to write up my report, I wrote about Nepal s demographics and geography and why earthquakes happen, I also started to think about how I was going to set out my academic poster. My group also decided that we were going to combine all of our information we collected and do our own posters on what we had all found.
To finish off the week we spent another day at the university, which I know sounds boring as we had not been out as much as we had in the first week but with all the research we were doing I didn’t mind it as it meant I could spend time collecting as much information as I could about an interesting subject. In the afternoon however we were doing something different again and went to one of the classrooms in the university. We had a talk with Carol that discussed gender stereotypes and society’s attitudes towards gender roles. For me this was a very interesting topic of discussion and I found getting into the discussion of how damaging these gender roles are to young people. We also discussed how we could try and encourage more girls to get into STEM subjects and if it was to do with influences from a young age such as the toys given and the stereotype that girls are good at English and boys are good at maths. To finish we were given Bratz dolls at were allowed to change them into how we wanted in an attempt to make them look less sexualised and perhaps what a young girl might prefer to play with.