Global engineering and scientific technologies company, Renishaw, is celebrating a successful year of its education outreach partnership with Radyr Comprehensive School. Students from the school, local to the company’s South Wales Miskin facility, have been using Renishaw’s Fabrication Development Centre (FDC) as part of their product design lessons. Following a successful first year, the school has now taken on its largest ever cohort of product design students.
The FDC is an educational resource that schools or groups can use for free for lessons or workshops. The aim of the facility is to develop engineering talent in Welsh schools, in order to secure a strong talent pool of engineers for the future. The FDC contains two classrooms, staffed by a qualified teacher and science, technology, engineering and maths trained Renishaw ambassadors. It is equipped with state of the art equipment, including 3D printers.
Radyr Comprehensive School is the first school to timetable regular lessons at Renishaw. From September 2016, pupils from the school’s year nine GCSE class and year twelve A Level class have made regular visits to Renishaw as part of their product design lessons. The students have been able to contextualise their learning from the school curriculum in a manufacturing environment.
“The projects the students worked on were supported by engineers to complement the school curriculum,” explained Simon Biggs, Education Outreach Officer at Renishaw, “We specifically tailored the projects so that the students were able to find a clear link between the school curriculum and its industrial applications. This can be a key step in overcoming the stereotypes and opening young people’s eyes to what a career in engineering actually involves.”
“Last year, every Radyr Comprehensive School student who used the FDC passed product design,” explained Richard Jenkins, Assistant Headteacher at Radyr Comprehensive School. “What’s more, the buzz created by using the latest tech has definitely travelled around the school – we have just taken on the largest ever cohort of product design students.”
“Choosing relevant GCSE and A level subjects is crucial for encouraging young people into engineering careers,” continued Jenkins. “Across the UK, design and technology numbers are dwindling, but thanks to Renishaw, we’re actually experiencing the opposite at Radyr Comprehensive School.”
Following the first year, the school has renewed its partnership with Renishaw and plans to increase numbers visiting the facility. For more information on Renishaw, or to find out how you can get involved at the FDC, visit www.renishaw.com/educationoutreach