This event on October 18th 2011 was organised by STEM Team East and run in partnership with the Department of Learning at IWM Duxford and in association with Makespace.

The Engineering Festival was a regional event for students to witness and learn of the importance and strength of engineering and its place in future global development and impact around the world. This event was the first of its kind and a window on engineering, by engineers, for the engineers of the future.

The festival included exhibits, talks and the chance for students to ‘be an engineer’ as they engaged in creative, problem solving activities that challenged them whilst being enjoyable with defined, successful outcomes. All activities were led by engineers to show the enthusiasm that engineers have for their careers.

Students testing materials for 3D printing
Students taking part in one of Makespace's activities at the Engineering Festival - investigating the possibility of 3D printing of buildings

Key features of the day included the latest in CAD for schools, 3d printing and prototyping and the chance to meet and talk with leading Engineering Employers in the region. The day also included CPD for teachers on the above and workshops on employer engagement.

Two students using a 3D input device to manipulate an object in a CAD package
Two students using a 3D input device to manipulate an object in a CAD package

Student engineering workshops, short talks and discussion based activities were provided by STEM Team East, Makespace and Imperial War Museum and by external providers including ARM, STRobotics, Jeremy King Engineering for Schools, The Home Office, A1 Technologies, BAE Systems, ArtVPS, Metal Craft, Acoustical Control Engineers, IP21 Ltd, Ramboll, Marshall Aerospace, Hills Road Sixth Form College, Queen Mary, University of London and Cambridge Science Centre.

Makespace volunteers ran two hands on activities throughout the day, with scheduled school groups attending through the day, as well as many drop-ins. One activity focussed on 3G printing and explored the feasibility – or otherwise!  – of printing a building.  The other activity looked at issues of sustainability, testing the limits of ropes crafted from used plastic bags.  This was particularly popular with drop-in groups.

The event was opened by Prof. Stephen Moore, Chief Engineer Unilever R&D. In addition there were talks by Dr. David Andrews – “The Electronic Bat: Electronics and Biomimics”, Dr. David Coates – “Future Agenda: An overview of where science and engineering is taking us in global development and the ethical, political and moral dilemmas of this new world we are engineering” and Mr. Luke Bamford, IMechE “Engineering, Your Future?” Makespace’s own Jonathan Austin also gave several presentations to school groups about the excitement of engineering.

Jonny Austin giving a presentation
Jonny reminding the students attending the event about the importance of creativity in engineering

As well the Engineers running workshops and activities, students had the opportunity to talk to Engineers from a wide range of different engineering fields in the ‘Career Corridor’. Exhibitors included Unilever Research, Marshall Aerospace, ARM, @one alliance, Astrium, Active Technologies, The Royal Navy, FESTO, npower, JDR Cables, Lockheed Martin, Johnson Matthey, Adept Scientific, Opito and Volvo.

For teachers the CPD opportunities included Employer engagement with Beacon East and workshops in CAD and CAD/CAM with ProEngineer, Rapid Pro and CREO from PTC – the Product Development Company and DATA: The Design and Technology Association.

Qualifications information was provided by The University of Cambridge, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge Regional College, ACER, CEME Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence and Engineering U.K. and CRC.

This event was backed by CEME and by Engineering U.K.

Key Facts about the Engineering Festival 2011

  • 530 students aged 14-18 attending from all over the Eastern Region.
  • 45 Teachers + 10 Visiting Educationalists
  • 23 Schools and 4 Home Educators.
  • 49 Different Employers – including major multinationals such as Unilever and ARM.
  • 106 Engineers.
  • 59 different activities for Students and Teachers.
  • Engineering will be presented at all level from the Graduate Route, Diploma Entry and through Apprenticeships

The different types of engineering represented on the day include: robotics, electronics, systems control, biomechatronics, structural, aeronautical, mechanical acoustics, design, civil, and haptic engineering.
The industries and field of engineering on show included: energy, water; fast manufacture consumer goods, aerospace; aircraft, construction, heavy vehicles, security systems, electronic goods and transport.
It is our aim to run the Engineering Festival as a bi-annual event.


About STEM Team East

STEM Team East work with all the school in Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire as part of their STEMNET contract. As an educational charity they work throughout the Eastern region and engage with all educational groups and at all attainment levels. STEM Team East are proud of their work with special needs children and their support across the complete qualification spectrum, working in partnership with STEM businesses and educational organisations to promote STEM and provide STEM resources and activities to Schools.



Report on the Engineering Festival

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