On the 13th and 14th July, Wade helped out at a 2 day STEM event designed to get current year 10 students (15 years old) interested in industrial/manufacturing engineering.
Wade Engineers attended the first session at NCHS – The Science College, in Staffordshire, on Monday morning. The day started with an introduction and students were set the task of doing research relating to ceramics and mechanical engineering.
Once they had completed this activity they moved on to assembling some AODD pumps, the same as those we use in our factory. The students learned how to read technical drawings, the importance of housekeeping and also planned the best way to work as a team.
With the help of Wade’s apprentices, all the teams successfully re-built the pumps. We were surprised at how quickly the teams were working, so they were set another challenge: the first team to successfully strip down and rebuild the pump wins a prize! The students rose to this challenge and soon there was shouting, sweating, ‘borrowing’ tools from other teams and even standing on tables to work faster! It was great to see the students so enthusiastic, especially to the teachers who commented on how different some of the students were behaving compared to normal.
By the end of the day all the teams had completed the challenge, with the winning team being awarded sweets and fizzy pop (normally banned from school, so it was very well received!). After a good tidy up the day was over, ready for testing in the morning.
On Tuesday morning 22 students and 2 teachers came to our factory to see our process and also to test their completed pumps. The students thought our factory was amazing and really enjoyed seeing all the different parts of our process, from pressure casting to lithographing. After the tour, they tested the pumps on a purpose built test rig in the workshop. Two teams found that their pump worked first time, and worked very well, whilst two teams had to dismantle their pumps and fault find. Eventually all the teams had their pumps working, and a prize was awarded to the team with the best performing pump.
After lunch, we had a discussion about modern apprentices and careers in engineering. A large number of students expressed an interest in working for Wade Ceramics, with some asking if they could stay longer or come back!
It was a pleasure to have the students working with us for these 2 days and everybody enjoyed themselves and learned something new. Hopefully we will see some of them again in the future, whether on work experience or as a potential future employee!