The event was part of a week-long series of seminars and lectures, for students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds or neighbourhoods with low participation in higher education.
The Year 12 students, aged 17, experienced first-hand how their knowledge of mathematics and physics can be applied to specific projects. From driverless cars and ink jet printing to tidal turbines and novel wireless communication techniques, the students were exposed to the breadth of possibilities that a degree, and career, in engineering can offer.
After operating a guillotine to cut sheet mild steel, a machine to fold and bend metal, and a spot welder, Lizzie from Harrogate commented: “I have never used tools like this before - it is great to have the opportunity to learn new skills.”
Sinthuja from Mitcham added: “I know I would like to be an engineer but I’m not sure what sort of engineering I would like to do - this has been really helpful to show me the possibilities.”
“There is a lot packed into the week but it doesn’t seem like work because it is such fun”, added Jake from Burnley.
Having used Control Engineering Theory to programming a robot to follow a winding line along the floor, Ama from London commented: “I’d never done programming before – it was a bit daunting but fun!”
Sandeep from Wolverhampton added that the 3D design and printing had been the highlight of the programme for him.
Wadham’s Tutor in Engineering, Alfonso Castrejón-Pita commented: “It was such a pleasure to welcome Wadham alumni Engineers back to Wadham to share their experiences with this enthusiastic summer school group. It is thanks to the generosity of Wadham Engineering alumni that we are able to run this popular Engineering Summer School. The experience is invaluable for these students in deciding whether Oxford is the place for them.”
Wadham's Engineering summer school is part of its Access to Excellence programme.