Students dash for Nash

Posted on 11 Jun 2010 by The Manufacturer

A hands-on education outreach programme for manufacturing has teamed engineering consultancy Frazer-Nash with sixth form students.

In an exciting joint project the team including students from Beacon Community College in East Sussex, will work to design and manufacture a mechanical kayak stroke simulator, which aims help improve the performance of the UK’s sprint kayaking athletes.

The project was delivered as part of the Engineering Education Scheme (EES), a project that involves teams made up of sixth form students working with professional engineers from local companies to find solutions to real scientific and engineering problems.

Delivering real experience of engineering and developing key industry skills project hopes to enthuse young people about the application of standard curriculum STEM knowledge to career opportunities. The students also learn to be aware of the more social business skills that are necessary in a successful workplace such as teamwork communication, presentation and time management.

Frazer-Nash set the unique engineering challenge of developing a kayak stroke simulator after working closely with UK Sport in project development. With the guidance of Frazer-Nash senior engineer James Horton the students were able to develop a series of controlled experiments which compared the relative benefits of different paddle designs and stroke techniques. They then took their learning forward to design a viable prototype simulator.

The course took place over a six month period which included a residential course at Brighton university. At the end of the course the team presented their findings at a ‘Celebration and Assessment Day’ at Brighton University and submitted a final project report which was reviewed by a panel of engineering assessors.

James Horton of Frazer-Nash commented on the project: “We were delighted to have played a part in this hugely rewarding programme. The students really embraced the challenge we set them and I hope they gained some real insight into what it is like to work in professional engineering.”