Concord

expands super-curricular support for aspiring engineers

Friday October 2, 2020

Over the course of the summer and start of the new term, Concord has been working hard to expand its in-lesson and super-curricular support for aspiring scientists – including those with a passion for chemistry, engineering or robotics. Similar to Concord’s popular Medical Society, the Engineering Society will be re-developed by Physics teacher, Mr Andrew Normand, to offer support in the form of additional off-timetable lectures, practical workshops and challenges, as well as careers advice from industry experts and visiting speakers. Mr Normand will be supporting students in afterschool slots on a weekly basis, leading the Engineering Society (EngSoc), and also hopes to bring Concord’s former annual buggy-race back to the college. Last week, 6.1 students enjoyed a tour and walk-through of Concord’s designated ‘projects lab’ – often used for Extended Project Qualifications (EPQ), and took part in a practical session, ‘Build your own Robot’ with 6.2 student, Jim. Later this term, 6.2 Oxbridge applicants will take part in PAT and ENGAA practice sessions. Other support sessions include rebuilding a bicycle and learning Python theory, as well as a seminar with external speaker, James Goss – CEO of Motor Design Ltd. Following the introduction of simple robotics in the Form 3 curriculum last year, Concord’s Science Department has just invested in technologies from Consequential Robotics – including two state-of-the-art MiRo-E devices, in the form of robot rabbits, to support Computer Science lessons. Concord’s Computer Science Lead, Mr Tim Curtis will be working with Form 3 students using the MiRo-E later in the academic year, learning about programming. According to Consequential Robotics, “MiRo-E is the animal-like advanced robot designed to help students learn about STEM subjects, particularly computing and digital technologies. “MiRo is inspired by the simple premise that animals have forms of physical, emotional and social intelligence that are desirable in future robots, so MiRo thinks and operates very much like an animal; from its senses and decision-making, all the way through to its body language and behaviour.” Find out more by watching the video below: Physics teacher, Mr Mark Weston will also be working closely with Form 3 students, running engineering classes every Tuesday, starting with team-building activities, such as build projects and simple programming, before moving onto more advanced engineering, benefitting the students well in advance of their GCSEs. Lastly, Chemistry teacher, Dr David Braybrook will be running extracurricular lessons for the college’s top chemists and aspiring chemical engineers. In addition to super-curricular challenges once a week, Dr Braybrook is keen to develop YouTube tutorials for students. Concord’s Head of Science, Mr Brown summarised: “The college aspires to develop a thread of STEM support throughout the school. “Engineering represents a key field that many Concordians aspire to pursue at university and beyond.”