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FIBE Outreach at Cambridge Science Festival

last modified May 25, 2017 10:15 AM

In true FIBE ethos to incorporate Outreach in its activities, staff and students at FIBE-CDT volunteered at the Cambridge Science Festival. Each year the Engineering department Outreach Officer, Maria Kettle, organises a day at the Cambridge University Centre for fun DIY projects with an engineering twist for primary-school-age children. See photo carousel, photo credits of the day goes to Maximilian Ge.

This year’s theme, seemingly tailor-made to FIBE-CDT’s Civil Engineering discipline, was to build a castle out of cardboard with the added engineering challenge to assemble LED lights complete with resistors, wires and batteries which could be strung on the castle. As in previous years, this popular family activity was exceptionally well attended.  FIBE Course Director Dr Rod Lynch said his granddaughter, Ella Spencer, age 11, very much enjoyed building the castle and even learnt about electrical circuits.

The fun engineering challenge spoke to the kid in each Mum and Dad, Granddad and Grandma alike as to the eager little ones.  The halls buzzed with creative energy as castle walls were erected, glue-guns fired and Engineering volunteers became High-Court Advisers to the budding Castle Lords and Ladies. Imagination took flight as each craft table came alive with medieval pocket kingdoms filled with impregnable fortresses and magnificent citadels. Getting into the spirit of the day, a  hand-crafted fire-breathing dragon made of blue-tack was even spied clinging to a turret. 

FIBE Administrator, Paula Block, decided to throw down the gauntlet and start a friendly castle-war among the volunteers including FIBE students Juan Canavera Herrera and Mark Allen who were volunteering on the hall above.  The challenge was for the volunteers on the 2 halls to come up with the best castle design. Delving deep into our innovative, engineering spirit, an impenetrable fortress resplendent with elaborate turrets for defence outposts (worthy of Game of Thrones!) was pitted against a fortified bastion complete with a medieval catapult.  Much to the delight of the kids, who quickly took up the battle cry and joined the friendly rivalry with even fancier strongholds.

In the end, each and every design created that day was a winner as the creators all walked away with a magnificent castle in their arms and a sovereign glint of pride in their eyes. Onward ho Engineers!

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