An interactive learning activity aimed at building annual events for the lifting and access engineering sector.
Piloted in 2012 with the target audience of schools, museums, science centres, engineering festivals and sector trade shows. The project has now partnered with ‘VertiKal Net’ the UK’s networking body for ‘Lifting and Access’ engineering. This partnership links to the sectors agencies mobilising ambassadors and sponsors; facilitating access to engineering equipment and careers advice.
Young people are mentored in teams by engineering ambassadors from academic and industrial backgrounds to construct working engineering models. Teams then compete at public venues for engineering awards from industry partners.
In addition to teamwork, learning outcomes include contextual understanding of engineering principles; hydraulic systems, pulleys, gears, electromagnetism and methods of actuation or control. Young people gain understanding of their region’s engineering heritage, and through working with an ambassador will see themselves as engineers of the future.
June 2013 - Enginering Festival of the North East, Riveting Stuff. Engineering heritage and the Tees shipyards.
'The children are learning on so many levels. It gives them a real reason to be communicating, broadening their language and communicating using technical language. I’m really aware of the impact this is having on the children who are EAL. It’s just brilliant.' Alison Tanner Year 5 Teacher Cameley Primary School
Bath Cranes Wars final event was held at Green Park Station Bath on 25th May 2013
The winning team
Sparrow Crane hire takes on the children's cranes
Winning time for the lift and drop task was 1 minute 46 seconds
Sparrow Crane and its target
A chance to put the model cranes in context by operating a real crane
Schools Workshops May 22nd to 24th 2013-
Kit ready to go
Contextualising the theory with Stuart from Sparrow Cranes -
Top-Trumps Engineers - card game with 40 Engineers and scores for their job details
Morning briefings for volunteer engineers at the Museum of Bath at Work
The empty crane yard at the end of each days building and testing
Testing the prototype with ten year olds April 2013-
A meeting of 12 engineers to explore the museum; design and engineer practical solutions and plan how they will use these to convey the learning messages and inspire 7 to 10 year olds when they run the project in May. The initial construction and design was by Phil Rowles of UTAS (Claverham) using an Angle Poise lamp fitted out syringes and pneumatics.
1. Play with an angle poise lamp fitted out with hydraulics
2.Explore the museum exhibits for relevant engineering principles
3.Design and engineer a crane to the projects criteria
4. Test ideas and compile a list of design solutions that could be part of a kit for 10 year olds to experiment with in May
Next steps - Trial the kit with a sample group of 10 year olds
Primary school pupils will collaborate with experts from local businesses to design and build working cranes at the Museum of Bath at Work. Their creations will then go on show and compete for engineering awards at Green Park Station as part of the Bath Fringe Festival on the 25th May at 2pm.Teams of youngsters will compete against each other. Children will also have their work cut out to beat the mini crane from Sparrow Cranes.
Teams of children aged seven to 11 from local Primary Schools are being invited to take part in Crane Wars, a new educational programme that is intended to become an annual event. Organisers have recruited volunteer engineers from Bath and the surrounding area to support the initiative and engineering businesses and local firms are sponsoring primary schools to take part. Volunteer engineers have worked with educationalists to devise a kit of parts that push and bolt together so that teams of young people can build unique cranes that they think will win the Crane-Wars challenge. These cranes will be built during workshops held at the Museum of Bath at Work from 22nd to 24th May.
Crane Wars is run by My Future My Choice, which works with schools and volunteers to help develop “future-fit learners”. Its director Hugh Thomas said the programme's workshops would benefit the children and adults involved.
“We want to stimulate engineers to share their stories, passion and expertise in innovative ways with children and to create debate between people of all ages. We will look at the heritage of engineering in Bath and the role of engineering in the future. Children will have the chance to find out about different types of engineering jobs and how they relate to science and technology learning in schools. The Museum of Bath at Work is a great venue for this programme because it has so many artefacts from Bath's industrial past and it has a workshop space for engineers to make science learning fun.”
Crane-making is a major part of Bath's heritage. The firm Stothert and Pitt, which dates back to 1785, was one of the world’s major crane builders in the 19th and 20th centuries and even when it closed its engineering works in 1989 it employed more than 500 people. Their legacy lives on through patents and license agreements used worldwide. Engineering and metal working in Bath in its heyday employed thousands of people. It supplied products such as bedsteads, boilers, cement mixers and automobile parts and led to the invention of angle poise, adapted for use in lamps in virtually every home. Companies like Cross Manufacturing and Rotork in Bath continue the inventive engineering tradition exporting products requiring unique technical skills around the world.
For further information about Crane Wars, contact
My Future My Choice
Polly Barnes by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 0117 3290387.
Museum of Bath at Work
Stuart Burroughs by email at email@example.com or by calling 01225 318348
Bath Fringe Festival 2013
Wendy Mathews by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01225 480079