ENGINEERING AT THE CRYPT
Generally the Senior Leaders at school support engineering vigorously and the school’s engineering profile is rightly rapidly rising. Our intention is to develop engineering as a launch pad for students wishing to study technical subjects in higher education. To this end we have embarked on several projects which are presently enjoying varying degrees of success and development. These are Formula 1 Car Design, Robotics, 3D Printing and a Weather Station. We are also breaking new ground in our planning of an Engineering Show; this will be very much a ‘first’. It will engage/challenge/inform both parents and students at all levels throughout the school. All our engineering aspirations are being well and truly supported by some major companies including GE Aviation, Delphi, Renishaw, Rolls Royce and Semantec.
Last year we entered a team for the ‘F1 in School’ Competition again where we were again successful gaining a National Award. This year we are entering another team/design and are hopeful of success. We also have a nascent younger F1 group at The Crypt which is waiting to take over when our students leave for university etc.
The Robotics Club is still active and one of their major projects is to produce a Hexapod. A group of younger students work regularly with Arduino Kits too. We are looking at the possibility of obtaining some genuine robotic research into developing machines to help quadriplegic people to perform otherwise impossible tasks for example, eye operated control systems. It is my hope to involve more and more Year 7’s in all that we do in Robotics including the teaching of C++ Coding via another of our students who is expert in such coding.
Our single machine is presently being operated and enhanced by one of our Sixth Form Teams and they have produced many artefacts including Yoda Busts and Nautilus Cog Mechanisms. It is hoped that our Young Enterprise students will participate and soon will make a business proposal to make it profitable. It also plays a full role in the above-mentioned F1 in Schools competition in the manufacture of the cars’ wheels. An additional 3D printer will soon be purchased using funding from Rolls Royce.
We have a fully operational Weather Station. We are also set to expand this weather station facility again very soon (courtesy of our CSA) to include some temperature and humidity sensors (linked by radio to the weather station) which will enable some Crest Gold Award work on plant growth (correlated to weather conditions) to be attempted. This will, we hope, encourage some of our very best students to study Meteorology with Physics at university. We will also soon (again) be visiting the National Meteorology Office.
We are assembling an engineering show to be held around the end of the school year which will challenge both parents and students technically and with the aim of dispelling ill-informed, perceptions of engineering in general. This will certainly be a first and hopefully augment our already substantial take-up of engineering apprenticeships by local companies such as GE Aviation, Delphi and Renishaw who in turn are helping to bring the show to fruition. It is also our hope to boost the uptake of engineering at Oxbridge level.
The Careers Fair also helps to achieve this objective but far more directly as employers. Our show is fundamentally different but complements the Careers Fair engineering components.
Recently our new Engineering & Mathematics Building started to take shape and this will have many features which will supplement the growing Engineering aspects of The Crypt School. We are presently purchasing a new Router Machine which will allow the actual manufacture of the F1 Team’s racing car amongst other artefacts. We also will be purchasing a 25 meter raised ‘F1 in Schools’ racing track, with full timing mechanism and this will enable us to develop still further, our Teaching School activities by enabling our three F1 partner primary schools to race their Primary Schools Jaguar Competition cars prior to their use in the competition. We are now able to supply training via our Regional Coordinator for the area, Nigel Ledeux, for the operation of the new Silhouette Camio Printer together with its accompanying software.
Technical ‘Teardown’ Events
.We hope to include some Year 7’s in our recent ‘Technology Teardowns’ (a term used by Renishaw where we regularly visit with groups of students) in which old equipment is safely broken into components and their function analysed. There is an increasing interest in this particularly. We already successfully send Year 9 students to Renishaw as part of their Teardown Sessions.