On 25 January 2020 was the conclusion and the climax of the “DIY” Workshop series on renewable energies, funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering and led by PPL PWR at Saint Paul’s Way Trust (London).
The ‘DIY Renewables’ workshops was designed to aid in the teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) to 13-16 year olds, giving the students access to a range of software, tools and engineering know-how in the conceptualisation, design, prototyping and making of small-scale renewable devices. The state-of-the-art workshop aimed to give pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds exposure to a university setting, practical experience of making and encourage them to pursue careers in engineering. From October to December 2019, a group of 15 students attended 11 sessions covering ideation, sketching, CAD skills, junk modelling, CAD modelling, materials sandpit and manufacturing, as well as presentation skills to present the fruit of their hard labour 25 January 2020.
During this event, the students and PPL PWR members celebrated the outstanding outputs delivered: a lamppost using the kinetic energy from rain to light the street and a water condenser to create water for crops in arid lands.
All PPL PWR members agreed that it was inspiring and exhilarating to see the team work as well as the creativity, the enthusiasm and adaptability of the students, how they iterated their ideas from one session to the other until they obtain their final output.
“It was satisfying to see… the students thoroughly enjoyed the sessions and got interested in solar technology and its applications.” – Solar engineer
And hearing many students enjoying the experience and finding a renewed interest in sciences and engineering, notably many girls, was wonderful. One of the girls has decided to work in the aerospace industry, for example, and another proudly announced that she no longer needed help from the boys during STEM projects because she knew she could do things on her own.
Our mission was accomplished.