Architects excel on summer placement

By Lilly Collins – Year 12 Student at UTC Warrington

PLACED Academy is a year long Architectural Course, in Liverpool that students can apply to when in the VI Form, running alongside other academic studies. Participants experience architecture and the built environment in multiple ways and aims to broaden the horizons within all aspects of Art and Architecture.

Four students from UTC Warrington are fortunate to have obtained a place on the course, which started as a week long introduction workshop in the summer holidays. I had to travel by train to get there but in the end it was worth it. Throughout the summer school I interacted with people around my age and worked in random groups to solve certain problems. This helped me with my teamwork skills. The activities involved us thinking about multiple aspects of the subject and how this affects the community and how it can be solved through architectural solutions.

Our first tasks involved working in larger groups on small activities; this helped with us with not only getting to know each other but also allowed us to get to know the teaching staff, all of whom are trained architects or architectural students. The expectation was that we would be able to work independently in groups and the staff would act as mentors, asking questions and challenging our ideas.

Over the course of the week we were asked to problem solve within certain areas of Liverpool City region – exploring different aspects including the existing buildings, population, criminal activity, urban growth and deprivation we were tasked with creating an impact.  We had to to generate reports, create models and draw plans to demonstrate ours ideas. Then after summarising the project we presented it in front of the other groups (our peers) and then towards the end we were able to give feedback and looked at what everyone else had produced.

This all helped me feel more comfortable with my peers and helped me work stronger in a team. Our next activity is in Liverpool next Saturday and we are all looking forward and feel privileged to be part of something so beneficial to our learning.

UTC students bring designs to life

Youngsters from across the UK gathered at HMS Sultan, Gosport recently in order to compete in The Royal Navy Engineering Challenge – Exercise Downbird Recovery.

Held in partnership with University Technical Colleges (UTCs), Eaton Ltd, Babcock and BAE Systems, the Challenge aimed to inspire young people to engage further with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects through having to design and build two remote-controlled vehicles, a land-based recovery vehicle capable of carrying a stranded helicopter and a ship that can transport it to safety.

Over 70 teams competed in the Challenge, including four Year 10 students from UTC Warrington who enjoyed the opportunity to experience 24 hours of Naval life, including a night on board HMS Bristol.

Prizes were awarded across 10 different categories between groups aged 14-16, 16-18 and for apprentices from industry aged 18-24 with the RAF team from RAF Cosford, the ‘Bomber Buoys’ declared overall winners for their design.

The Chairman of the Baker Dearing Educational Trust, The Rt Hon Lord Baker of Dorking said: “I’m delighted to see so many students from University Technical Colleges (UTCs) taking part in this year’s Royal Navy Engineering Challenge. Through this competition, the Royal Navy offer UTC students a unique experience and the opportunity to apply the technical knowledge and practical skills they learn every day at their UTC. The work the Royal Navy does to inspire young engineers has never been more important as this country’s need for talent and skills has never been greater.”

The Navy’s head of training and lead STEM coordinator, Commodore Andy Cree, said: “Today marked another hugely enjoyable milestone in the Royal Navy’s annual challenge and my congratulations go to all those who completed it.  Our most complex challenge to date brought together elements of additive manufacture and robotics in real-world conditions and it was fascinating to see over 70 teams across 3 age groups competing to solve the same problem, with shared learning all round.”