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Engineering workshops Faculty of Engineering & Science

Outreach activities at the Medway Campus, Chatham Maritime, Kent

We have a number of workshops to help with enhancing the curriculum to your pupils, from topics in computing, electronics, engineering and physics. Our faculty has an extensive range of specialist laboratories for you and your pupils to visit and utilise for the purpose of raising their aspirations.

We have developed workshops that extend the national curriculum for students in Years 10 to 13, as well as specifically assisting schools and colleges in the Extended Project or Extended Essay. Some of these workshops are portable, which also allows the faculty to deliver them at school premises if required, but the majority are laboratory based in our workshops on the Medway campus.

We have the facilities to run a number of these workshops in one day. However, if you are interested in a particular technique, it is possible to focus on one workshop to fit in with what your students are currently studying.

Where possible, we can provide these workshops on a date and time to suit you, so, if you are interested in any of these techniques, please contact Lynn Wilson with the subject title "Request for Study Workshop (name of workshop)".

Materials: Tensile Testing

This workshop explores materials with respect to their bulk properties and tensile strength. Tensile testing is a fundamental materials science test in which a sample is subjected to controlled tension until failure – how can you predict how a material will respond to outside forces? The use of a tensile tester with the subsequent creation of force-elongation and stress-strain curves in the laboratory can help.

Materials: Hardness Testing

The hardness of a metal is defined as the resistance to plastic deformation. There are a number of tests that measure the materials' resistance of a non-deformable ball or cone. In this workshop students will have the opportunity to investigate the effect of alloying and heat treatment on the hardness of steels and carry out measurements of hardness using a portable (rebound) hardness tester.

Materials: Young's Modulus and Poisson's Ratio

Stress is directly proportional to strain for elastic deformation. If you subject an elastic material to an applied force or stress it will return to its original shape unless the elastic limit is exceeded. In this workshop students will determine the Young's modulus and Poisson's ratio of a material using a simple cantilever bending of a beam to which strain gauges are attached. The analysis of plotting these results graphically will enable students to validate Hooke's Law.

Electronic Circuits: Simulation of a System

This workshop allows students to interact with circuit simulation software for the purpose of testing a circuit before any physical construction of the prototype. Detailed simulation can often reduce the time and effort involved in reaching the point of the manufacture of a circuit board and its associated components, as well as involving the consideration of the physical size and location of these components on a board as well: automate component selection and PCB layout. The type of circuit to be simulated in this workshop can range from standard components in a typical application (resistors, capacitors, diode, resistive input transducers, etc) to simple amplifiers (bipolar transistors, MOSFET's).

Electronic Circuits: Manufacture of a System

This workshop extends the foundations from following the Electronic Circuit (Simulation of a System) workshop by taking a tested and verified design to the point of manufacture. Students can use their design from following the Simulation of the System workshop or take an existing and verified design from the faculty's resources.

Human Computer Interaction: RoboThespian

Interacting with a computer system/electronic device has now grown far beyond the traditional mouse and keyboard. The design of a user-friendly, efficient GUI should lead a user to interact with a complex system in a natural and efficient way. In this workshop you will design and implement a human-computer interaction solution with the faculty's RoboThespian.

Automation Control and Robotics: RoboThespian

Control devices are used in a range of engineering systems to help keep processes within manufacturing or operational limits. Many assembly plants across the world use robotic devices and systems to help maintain a constant and consistent output from an assembly line. In this workshop you will interact and program into a range of embedded systems so as to apply a control system to a robot arm. There will also be a chance to apply a simple program into the faculty's RoboThespian.

Software Design and Development: Client-Focussed Project

Software projects are driven by client's needs and need to follow one of a range of software design methodologies. In this workshop, the university will be the client and students will be given a problem that they will need to tackle on a group basis.

Embedded Computers: Raspberry-Flavours

Students will follow how an embedded computer can be used to develop simple systems and control them with simple command line instructions, graphical interfaces, or remote network access. These types of systems can capture and display video, stream content over wireless networks, or drive simple motor systems.