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Education

Engineering the future

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Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 12.58.33A UNIQUE partnership between UWTSD, A-Level students, the Engineering Education Scheme Wales (EESW) and local businesses is helping to inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists.

The ‘Big Bang’ is the largest annual event scheme in South Wales for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) where professional engineers from link companies work with a team of Year 12 students and their teacher for 5-6 months on a real engineering problem.

The scheme continues to reap rewards with Bishop Vaughan sixth formers becoming the latest students to win a top engineering and science award for designing a glass bottle sorting device.

The team of eight pupils competed against 75 other teams from across South Wales, and won the ‘Best Application of Engineering and Technology’ award, and were also nominated for ‘Best Working Prototype’ at the Engineering Education Scheme for Wales linked with STEM.

Their award was presented to them by Mr R. Cater from the Institution of Engineering and Technology.

GlassTech, a local recycling company based in Neath, challenged the students to create a device to recognise different coloured glass bottles and then sort them to relevant containers, working with UWTSD, the team used everyday technology to solve the problem in the form of a Web Cam.

The team had to prepare a technical report and present their solution to senior engineers and academics at the ‘Big Bang’ awards day.

Their solution and display for the working model gathered a lot of interest especially from Carwyn Jones AM.

The students; Phoebe Hughes, Morgan Thomas, Keefe Montebon, Joseph Robinson, Rhys Brannan, Baptin Syriac, Joel Baiju and Eloisa Maristela have also been awarded the Gold Crest award, for their hard work and excellent technical report, receiving extra 70 UCAS entry points for getting into university.

Student Keefe Montebon said: “It was such an amazing experience and it has inspired us all to go on to higher education and achieve even more.”

Pam Berry – EESW West Wales Coordinator said: “The team worked incredibly hard and received excellent support from UWTSD lecturers Richard Morgan and Dr. Arnaud Marotin. UWTSD has been an excellent supporter of EESW, hosting workshops to enable students to develop prototypes.”

Karen John from Glass Tech added: “These are a remarkable group of youngsters and engineers of the future. I am absolutely impressed at how professional they are. I would love to invite the students, their teacher and the UWTSD lecturers to Glass Tech to see the industrial process and commercial tonnage and issues glass recycling face. I am sure one of these bright sparks will come up with a solution.”

UWTSD lecturer Richard Morgan said working with the teams from Bishop Vaughan Comprehensive School and Gower College Swansea, alongside fellow lecturer Dr Arnaud Marotin, had been as been a positive and rewarding experience this year.

“The teams have demonstrated exceptional levels of commitment and professionalism and have had exposure to some of the excellent facilities and resources on offer within the Engineering department at UWTSD,” he said:

“The fantastic achievements at the recent Engineering Education Scheme Wales competition are a testament to the first-rate efforts of the team members and the support and encouragement provided by staff at the school and the college.

“Both Arnaud and I have been delighted with the way in which these industrially focussed projects have strengthened the links between schools, colleges and the university. Engineering graduates are in high demand and it’s reassuring to see such enthusiasm and talent. We are sure that we have been witnessing some of ‘tomorrow’s engineers’ in action.”

If you have an interest in engineering, every September UWTSD also host a three day residential engineering and design event called ‘Head Start’, at our Swansea Campus for Year 12 and 13 students.

Participants have the opportunity to experience university life while working on exciting challenges using a range of industry level facilities and equipment at the university.

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Education

Beach Wheelchair scheme boosted by Bournemouth University students’ animation

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PEMBROKESHIRE Coast National Park Authority’s Outdoor Mobility Project is being promoted online thanks to an animation produced by students for Bournemouth University students.

The animation, which has been created for BFX, the UK’s largest computer game and animation festival, features the type of specially designed beach wheelchairs that are available to hire at various locations around the Pembrokeshire Coast.

The Park Authority’s Pembrokeshire Outdoor Mobility Project also includes mobility scooters and all-terrain wheelchairs, which are available at inland locations including Carew Castle, Castell Henllys Iron Age Village and Oriel y Parc Gallery and Visitor Centre in St Davids.

National Park Authority Health and Well-being Policy Officer, Hannah Buck said: “We were absolutely delighted to be chosen to be part of the competition and blown away by the quality of work and attention to detail shown by the students.

“The students have been brilliant to work with and really understood our brief and we are and are delighted with the finished animation, which will help spread the word about the range of equipment available to hire around the National Park.

The animation titled ‘A Day at the Seaside’ sees an elderly mother and her son looking at old photographs of a family holiday to Pembrokeshire in 1982.

The mother indicates her use of a walking stick would make a return trip impossible, but the son appears with a beach wheelchair and the two are able to enjoy a day on the beach just like they had done 40 years previously.

The animation competition winners will be announced during the BFX Festival in November.

The team behind the animation are Janet He, Koey Leung, Malachi Dempsey-Clark, Maria Bartucca and Soraya Assadian, with music by Jess Ward.

To find out more about the BFX Festival competition visit www.bfxfestival.com/competitions.

To watch the video, find out more about the beach wheelchairs and to find out how to pre-book, please visit www.pembrokeshirecoast.wales/beachwheelchairs.

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Education

New free school meals policy launched at Ysgol Bro Preseli in Crymych

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A NATIONAL scheme to roll out free school meals to the youngest learners in primary schools in Wales has been launched today (Wednesday, 7 September) by First Minister Mark Drakeford and Sian Gwenllian MS at Ysgol Bro Preseli in Crymych.

In Pembrokeshire, the rollout will include learners in:

full time nursery

• reception

• and years 1 and 2 pupils in primary schools

Known as the Universal Primary Free School Meals, the policy is part of the Co-operation Agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru.

The agreement will see free school meals extended to ALL primary school learners over the next three years.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “No child should go hungry. Families throughout Wales are under huge pressure because of the cost-of-living crisis and we are doing everything we can to support them.

“Extending free school meals to all primary schools is one of a number of measures we are taking to support families through this difficult time.

“I’m really pleased to see how our schools have embraced this and the speed at which they and our public services have worked together to begin providing free school meals.

“We know younger children are more likely to be living in relative income poverty, which is why the youngest of our learners will be the first to benefit.”

Cllr Guy Woodham, Cabinet Member for Education and the Welsh Language, said Pembrokeshire County Council were delighted to support the policy.

“Families are facing difficult times with the increasing everyday costs of living, so free, nutritious school meals for our youngest learners are great news,” he said. “No child should come to school hungry or be hungry during the day.

“We’d like to encourage parents of children in full-time nursery, reception and years 1 and 2 in primary schools to take advantage of this fantastic scheme from Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru.”

Ysgol Bro Preseli Headteacher Mrs Rhonwen Morris said: “As a school we aim to provide all learners with the same opportunity to thrive. We nurture learners from a young age; academically, socially and physically.

“We welcome such a progressive scheme ensuring that learners are provided with a nutritious balanced diet that will support all aspects of their education, progress and wellbeing.

“We look forward to seeing this scheme being extend to all primary school learners over the next three years thus ensuring equity for all in primary education.”

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Education

Blue Gem Wind support Pembrokeshire College with new BTEC Engineering Course

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BLUE Gem Wind are supporting Pembrokeshire College with a BTEC Engineering course aimed at providing a pathway to renewables for 14-16 year-olds. The new course, which begins in September, will be delivered in partnership with other local renewable energy companies and is supported by the Skills and Talent strand of the Swansea Bay City Deal.   

Mike Scott, Project Managing Director at Blue Gem Wind, explained. “The offshore wind sector around the UK is progressing at a pace that is already seeing skills shortages, particularly in engineering roles. As we continue to develop Wales’ first floating wind project it is crucial that we play a meaningful role in supporting Pembrokeshire’s future generations to get ready for a career in floating offshore wind.”

David Jones, Stakeholder Manager, added, “We are looking forward to working in collaboration with the college and other local renewable energy companies to deliver this exciting new course. This focus on 14-16 year-olds will complement our primary school STEM related programme.”

Hayley Williams, Curriculum Development Manager at Pembrokeshire College, said. “Pembrokeshire College is very excited to offer this unique collaborative programme to learners from Milford Haven School and Ysgol Harri Tudur. Blue Gem Wind will bring real life examples of floating wind engineering challenges for the pupils to consider, and the type of job roles and thinking needed to solve them. Enthusing young people about the emergence of new career pathways will help future-proof a skilled workforce for the renewable energy sector in Pembrokeshire.

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