‘Lifting Aspirations’ promoting engineering to UK youth.
Recently, Britain’s National Science Week honored Bath Mechanical Engineering PhD researcher Owen (Glyn) Griffiths for creating the country’s best engineering event, ‘Lifting Aspirations.’
Glyn’s event promotes engineering to a target audience between the ages of 11 to 16. Participants of Lifting Aspirations learn about mechanical systems, such as hydraulics. Additionally, the event promotes engineering heritage in the local community.
“I initially got involved after volunteering and running technical aspects for an event here in Bath last year. I enjoy it and became passionate in helping to develop the resource and encourage more teenagers to consider a career in engineering,” said Glyn.
He adds, “Through this project I have carried out a number of school visits and have also run wider public events on weekends. I have worked with my colleagues to develop a kit-form learning activity which we’ve used to tour the country, establishing sponsors and industrial partner links while taking part in public science events and festivals.”
Mr. Hugh Thomas and Ms. Polly Barnes assist the Lifting Aspirations project by providing expertise in hands-on engineering and educational knowhow.
“I am currently in the final year of my PhD, which is challenging and takes up a lot of time,” said Glyn. “I am very grateful to colleagues within the department (especially technician Mr. Paul Dix) who have supported the event through use of department manufacturing equipment which is vital to the workshop element. I’m also really grateful to all of the student volunteers from the University who have helped at the events and made sure they were all a huge success.”
The event was popular enough to warrant a nomination for the British Science Association award. As they presented their work within the M-Shed Bristol Heritage Museum, the judges were convinced and offered them the ‘Best Engineering Event’ award.
If that wasn’t enough, the group was recently informed that they achieved a bid from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The team hopes to parlay this bid to produce even more engineering learners in the future.
Source University of Bath