On the 7th December 2021 from 1.15-3pm, we delivered a Next Engineers Discovery workshop at Great Wyrley Academy in Walsall for a group of Year 9 students.
The activity delivered was the Toxic Popcorn Challenge and introduced students to the engineering design process (EDP), the process engineers use to solve design challenges.
Students were given 2 containers (one filled with popcorn kernals), rope, string, elastic bands, and a flipchart paper and pens for planning, as well as a handout explaining the engineering design process for reference. Students worked in 6 teams to design a process to safely remove ‘toxic’ popcorn. The popcorn has an estimated safe life of exactly 5 minutes before it explodes. Students built and tested a system to transfer the popcorn to a safe container for decontamination before it exploded. Once students had practiced with the designs, each team was invited to the front of the room to demonstrate their solution to their classmates in just 5 minutes. This was a chance to put their designs to the ultimate test! All teams showed fantastic team work and communication skills during the challenge, and resilience when things didn't go to plan!
The workshop was led by 2 General Electric volunteers from the Stafford office, and Hannah from Connectr. The workshop reached 40 students. Connectr and the GE Next Engineers City Team looks forward to engaging with more students for Discovery workshops, demos and assemblies in 2022! #NextEngineers