During January, Festo took part in a national scheme known as "Serious fun on Saturdays" partly funded by SHINE. The programm, run locally by Northampton High School, takes thirty year 10 year girls who normally have no access to extracurricular activities and organises fun, educational activities based around STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
On Saturday 18th Jan, two engineers from Festo ran pneumatics workshops based around the fluidic muscle and also allowed the girls to make their own Fin Rays from cardboard, explaining the importance of learning from nature.
Working with SHINE, Festo and Northampton High School, opened their doors to lend local children their superb facilities for some serious fun and structured educational support. This partnership approach benefits everybody involved, while the generosity of the host schools makes the programme incredibly cost-effective. But the biggest winners are the kids themselves, who get to use some amazing kit for exciting, practical learning that starts them thinking for themselves.
The Festo workshops, allowed the children to :
- Understand what pneumatics meant and the power of compressed air
- Witness what happens to a pneumatic cylinder when you pressurise it
- Pressurise the innovative pneumatic muscle to varying pressures and draw a graph to correlate its length v internal pressure
- Use cardboard templates to construct an innovative Fin Ray, a mechanical structure based on a fishes tail that can be used as an adaptive gripper in industry.
The day was also shared with the guys from Bletchley Park, famous for the enigma machine code breaking, who ran a deciphering and code breaking workshop for the girls.
The day will be followed up on February 1st where once again engineers from Festo will present the full range bionic learning network concepts from Festo, including the AirPenguins, SmartBird and the BinicOpter. Followed by discussions on what it is like to work in engineering and what are the possible career paths.
Click for more info on SHINE and Serious Fun on Saturdays
Click for more on Northampton High School