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STEM workshops and Industry

As part of Mosslands' efforts to strengthen relationships with industry, 12 Year 9 pupils paid a visit to the Central Group in Liverpool's Knowsley Business Park. The group has established clientele in the markets for utilities, chemicals, metals, paper, food and drink, oil and gas, and renewable energy. The company works with drives, alternators and motors that are used and repaired by the business, it has the facility for creating custom parts when needed.

Our students participated in a STEM workshops that the Central Group team had  organised to illustrate the specific engineering involved with sensors and motors. Four different hands-on   workshop were used to show how motors operate, and the second workshop examined various motors utilised in ABB machines and their contribution to the process. The Year 9s were engaged in all the workshops and listened actively to a range of speakers from various departments.  The third workshop  allowed students to learn about sensors and how they may be used in engineering and every day life. This was an excellent chance for them to understand how crucial sensors are and how different industries use them.

The final challenge of the day was when our students were instructed to build a bridge using  building  model pieces with a brief to install sensor to monitors for any unexpected movements of the bridge . They had to work together collaboratively as a team, which involved deciding on a solid design for the bridge, building the bridge and giving a 30-second "pitch" for their ideas to the staff, who would then assess which was the most original or innovative, all within tight deadlines. The brave few that assumed leadership roles, went on to give designated roles for each team member and encouraged each them to give their  best to complete  the task. Pleasingly at  the final conclusion of the task many expressed a pleasure in completing the challenge and having a sense of ownership of the activity.

The event came to a close with a fun fish task tank (no fish were harmed during this activity) with individuals having to display their submariner skills steering a mini submarine to its docking station. Undoubtedly everyone gained a valuable insight into the engineering and careers prospects in the sector  and gained valuable experience on positive presentation skills, they do however need lots of  practise in their submariner driving skills to ever receive a prized Central Group toblerone.  RJ