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Engineering activities for school students

As part of our Engineering Schools Program at Victoria University, we are offering free hands-on activities for school groups.

Creating curriculum that engages young minds is a central aim of the Engineering Schools Program. These activities will give students a solid foundation understanding of the engineering process from the design stage, to construction and testing. These sessions are grouped into four activity options.

The interactive activities focus on skills such as using measurement and design skills to prepare creative prototypes for their experiments. Activities are suitable for students from Year 9 and above, with schools able to select the activity in which they want their students to participate.

Engineering activities - details

When: Tuesday-Friday during term 2 (enquire for available dates or to express interest in participating in terms 3 & 4)
Time: 10am – 12:30pm
Location: Footscray Park campus
Cost: Free
Capacity: 30 students/session

Register

To register, email Tricia Fidler : [email protected].

Activity details

As well as applying principles of design and structural engineering, students are exposed to a range of other engineering principles in the four activity options:

  • Tsunami - stability, wave motion
  • Tall buildings for earthquakes - stability, seismic motion
  • Shock absorbing landing pad - material properties (elasticity), inertia and shock absorption
  • Wind turbine design - material strength, aerodynamics, balancing and vibration.

Our students will be on hand, enabling your students to ask young, aspiring engineers about their experiences, study and career aspirations.

Materials for all activities are provided.

Tsunami

Students will work in teams to design and construct a structure to withstand the passing of a seismic wave. The structure will be made to support a load and placed on a floating pontoon in the computer-controlled wave simulation tank. The aim is for the structure to be as light and tall as possible while capable of supporting the load as well as withstanding the largest possible seismic wave. Students will apply principles related to design, stability, structural engineering (strength) as well as wave motion.

Tall buildings for earthquakes

Students will work in teams to design and construct a tall building model to withstand seismic ground motion (earthquakes). The structure will be made to support a load and placed on a computer-controlled earthquake simulation machine. The aim is for the structure to be as light and tall as possible while capable of supporting the load as well as withstanding the largest possible earthquake. Students will apply principles related to design, stability, structural engineering (strength) as well as seismic motion.

Shock absorbing landing pad

Students will work in teams to design and construct a landing pad to protect a fragile object from damage during a landing. An egg will be dropped onto the landing pad from a pre-determined height and the aim is to ensure that the egg withstands the landing shock without breaking while using the least possible amount of material. Students will apply principles related to engineering design, material properties (elasticity), inertia and shock absorption.

Wind turbine design

Students will work in teams to design and construct the blades of a turbine to extract maximum energy from wind. Each design will be subjected to efficiency (and survival) tests using an instrumented wind tunnel where the wind and turbine speeds will be measured along with the turbine power output. The aim is to design turbine blades that will extract the wind’s energy most effectively for the widest possible range of wind speeds. Students will apply principles related to design, material strength, aerodynamics, balancing, and vibration.

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