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11 April 2017

BSRIA stages 'tomorrow's engineers' event

The students were also presented a challenge before the day, to design and make their own prototype ceiling grilles. The brief for the challenge allowed scope for creative thinking to provide the best thermal comfort for the occupants.

As part of its INSPIRE programme, to help engage young people in engineering, BSRIA was delighted to welcome a group of Year 9 (aged 13-14) students from Ranelagh School in Bracknell to its test facilities.

The event started with an introduction to building engineering, followed by some hands-on (and voices-on) sessions, measuring acoustics and temperature in BSRIA’s UKAS accredited laboratories.

The students were also presented a challenge before the day, to design and make their own prototype ceiling grilles. The brief for the challenge allowed scope for creative thinking to provide the best thermal comfort for the occupants.

The prototypes were tested in a classroom mock-up for air temperature, relative humidity and air speed. Smoke tests were also carried out to visualize the air distribution. The winning grille, built by Amy Harris and Sophie Jeriorski, involved a brilliantly creative design that tested well within the industry standard.

Karen Rentell, Design & Technology and Curriculum Leader at Ranelagh, said: “We all know when we feel comfortable in a building but perhaps don’t think why. The students are sure to be looking at buildings in a different way with their new real-life knowledge.”

Tom Garrigan, Test House Manager at BSRIA, said: “Given the relatively basic materials they were given, we were really impressed with the students’ grilles. It’s great to see the creativity and enthusiasm of young people and shows there is lots of talent out there – good news for the future.”

Dr Phillip Lee, MP for Bracknell, also gave his endorsement for the project: “I am delighted that pupils from Ranelagh School in Bracknell were once again able to take part in BSRIA’s INSPIRE programme, and was not surprised to learn that the students succeeded in meeting the engineering challenges set for them. I hope that BSRIA, and STEM-focused industries, continue to engage with young people in Bracknell through apprenticeships, work experience and outreach programmes.”

BSRIA ran a similar activity last year and as a result will be taking on one of the previous participants as part of their year 11 (15-16) work experience.

It is integral that the industry builds relationships with young people at school, college and university ages and BSRIA encourages companies to do similar activities in their local area. This year, BSRIA will also be recruiting for three school-leaver apprenticeships.

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