A group of 6th Form students have been working with engineers from Renishaw to design, develop and build a solution to an engineering problem based around sorting Hall Effect transducers by their accuracy. Renishaw have developed a machine to test the accuracy of the transducers, assigning each one a grade of 1 to 8, and needed a fail safe way of separating them into appropriate collection bins.
The Engineering Education Scheme Wales (EESW) is designed to encourage sixth form students to study engineering courses in further or higher education. The scheme operates through local companies setting research and development briefs related to real industrial problems for teams of several year 12 students. The students set about solving these problems, over a period of about six months (October – April), in co-operation with engineers and scientists from the link companies. By giving students a positive experience of working with professional engineers and scientists in an industrial setting, the programme shows them that STEM areas are diverse and stimulating, and can provide an intellectually challenging career.
Monmouth School’s design used a Raspberry Pi to decode the signal sent from the testing machine to control a series of solenoids that direct the transducers into the correct bin as they slide down a tube. They had many problems to overcome, including the problems related to components requiring different voltages and current; safe isolation of the different electrical sub-systems as well as ensuring that the transducers didn’t get stuck in the tube or go into the wrong bin!
The team competed against over 60 schools at the Celtic Manor on Monday 7th April in the South Wales final and were shortlisted for two awards: The Murco Best Engineering Design and the IET Best application of Engineering and Technology. They were delighted to win the former, and a share of the £500 prize.
Many thanks to Ben Carruthers-Watt and Caroline Hughes at Renishaw for their guidance, patience and expert advice. The photos show Sebastian at the event who was unfortunately the only team member able to attend due to the prior commitments: he did an excellent job in presenting the project to a panel of three industry professionals, a second interview by the award sponsors as well as answering a multitude of questions from the many visitors of all ages on the day.
The other team members were Joe, William and George.
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