Since the release of the new GCSE specification for Design and Technology, there has been an increased focus on developing links with industry experts and collaborating on projects to give students a feeling of designing something useful. All too often, students are given briefs set by classroom teachers with no real view as to how this could be linked to jobs and real life applications.
Working with Amada has enabled us to see how our laser cutters in school are directly linked to applications in industry. It also allowed our students to see machinery which they may never have experienced before. The careers information given to them was also very informative and students gained a real insight into a world where Engineering Design and Technology come together.
The students were given a factory tour to see how the different machines worked and took part in a quiz. Following the tour, the students were split into teams and given a product brief by Chris Jewels Senior Consultant Engineer. The product brief was to design a free standing literature rack, and to include the Amada name. The students’ final designs were then given to the team from Amada who then chose a winner. The design which was then transferred to the computer, cut out and each student from the winning team was presented with their own stand to take home with them.
From this visit, students will now return to the Academy and start to begin working on a real life project brief set by engineering specialists at Amada. They will apply their knowledge of working with the machinery to products of their own design with the view of Amada choosing the best one to make a real life prototype of.
“It was really good to see the machines working”
“I enjoyed making a bi-plane model out of sheet metal”
" It was a pleasure to welcome back Sandwell Academy students and staff, and give them some insight into working in an engineering environment. Even though we had a large amount of content to cover and a large group of students to cope with, we felt that everyone gained something from the visit, including ourselves!!! For the younger members of the Amada team and the apprentices it was quite an experience and will stand them in good stead when they are faced with live customer demonstrations in the future. We were impressed with the student’s designs and some of the questions they asked. We hope the students found the day informative, and hopefully a few will be encouraged to pursue a career in engineering. "
Chris Jewels Senior Consultant Engineer.