Day 1: Beamish
To begin with we went down to the pit village to look at the mill and machines that were used to get coal and miners in and out of the pits. We were then given a talk about the lamps that miners had to carry with them while down the mines and how they had become compulsory to carry by 1896. The lamps, we were told, burned oil and at the top of the lamp was a wired mesh that allowed air to pass through and let combustion occur however, the holes in the mesh were too fine for the flame to pass through and therefore stop it from igniting anything outside of the lamp.
From our tour around Beamish I became much more aware of how quickly we advanced over 100 years and how we have 100 years since the Industrial Revolution. Not only that but I also learned that technology that we expected to advance didn’t, an example of this being that many thought in the 1930’s that the future would be steam, which evidently didn’t happen. From this I have realised that it is impossible to predict ‘what’s next’ in terms of engineering and development.
Days 2-4: Nissan Factory
We spent all of the first day at Nissans training centre, trying to get the hang of their software to develop our own cars for the F1 challenge. For most of the morning we spent the time looking at the 20m track that we would be running our own cars down and going through booklets that guided us through how to use the software ‘Autodesk’. Once we had cracked how to use the software and were confident enough we were put into teams of three and allowed to design our own cars.
The next day we continued with our designs and tried to get it to a point of being ready to be cut and have the wings and wheels 3D printed. In the afternoon we were taken on a tour of the Nissan factory, showing us the assembly line, which surprised me at how quickly the car was painted, assembled and tested and how this was managed to such a high standard. I was also surprised at the size of the Nissan factory and how there were separate buildings for different stages of assembling the car, for me this showed how much money is actually invested into engineering in Britain.
For our final day at Nissan we completed our designs of our cars and got them cut our and wheels 3D printed, it took the whole morning to cut out the cars, paint them (highlight them with highlighters) and attach the wheels. When we finally got it all done we raced our cars down the track, unfortunately none of our cars met the 55g minimum weight so all took under 1 second to get to the end. Even though ‘Sexypink’ was the slowest car (by 0.1 seconds) it was the heaviest (by 20g) and so clearly the best car out of the three:)
Day 5: Think Physics Lab
For our final day of week one, we were based in the Think Physics lab at Northumbria University. For the majority of the day we were introduced to our project that would run over the next two weeks and allowed to start it and begin to gather information about Nepal and the earthquake that happened earlier this year. At the end of the day we were allowed to prepare a presentation of what information we had collected and present to the other two groups. The main areas my group looked at was how earthquakes are formed, some general information on Nepal and the impacts that the earthquake had on Nepal as it is a LEDC.