Week 2-Alex

Monday 20th July-BEL Valves

BEL Valves are a company that make sub sea valves for oil pipe lines but unlike Nissan their products aren’t mass produced, they make products specific to the customer’s needs. We spoke to a group of female apprentices and they explained what they did and what it was like working in a male dominated work place, it was very helpful and gave a good insight into what the job involved. We also had a tour of the shop floor which was interesting because it had a much different atmosphere to Nissan as it felt less pressured, possibly because it wasn’t a mass production factory so the workers didn’t have the pressure of a time limit and weren’t constantly doing the same job.

Tuesday 21st July- Reece Group

We went to the Reece Group factory in Newcastle which was much bigger than BEL Valves. We had an introduction to Reece where they explained the different things that they make which includes military equipment then we had a tour around the shop floor. It was quite similar to BEL Valves with respect to it producing bespoke products but on a much lager scale. After the tour we spoke to a lady and she told us how she got into engineering from doing her physics degree and what her day to day job was like which was helpful as it illustrated that there are lots of different paths you can take so if you aren’t sure what you want to do it’s not a problem.

Wednesday 22nd July- Talk on Earthquakes

On Wednesday we had a lecture explaining more in depth about the science behind earthquakes and why they occur from two lecturers; one from Durham University and the other was from New Zealand. We learned that earthquakes often occur in subduction zones which are often found on tectonic boundaries. In a subduction zone one plate is forced under the other and the rocks deform elastically under the stress of the plate but when the stress gets too great it breaks or moves and waves are sent through the earth which is what causes the shaking.

Thursday 23rd July-Posters

In the morning we looked at examples of academic posters and looked at the features of them and which ones we thought were better or worse to give us ideas about how we want to design our posters. We then continued with our research in the afternoon and began to produce a rough plan for our posters as well as writing profiles for each other which included finding out what each other wanted to do in the future and if we had any advice for younger years etc.

Friday 24th July-Dolls

In the afternoon we looked at stereotypes within science and at what might have lead the engineering/physics world to be mostly dominated by males. We watched a video of various different types of engineers and what they thought was important in the engineering world in terms of human traits and we considered what sort of person you need to be to be an engineer. We were shown a video of a lady who took second hand dolls and gave them a make-under and then sold them and they became very popular, the point was that dolls such as bratz dolls are all so heavily made up and have unrealistic body standards are not good role models for young girls. We were given dolls and we had a go at giving them a make under and gave them characteristics.


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