Redland Green School

RGS Bristol

Future Brunels

‘Future Brunels’ is an educational programme developed by the ss Great Britain Trust as part of the charity’s Brunel Institute work.  The programme seeks to encourage more schoolchildren to pursue studies and a career in science and engineering and the content is inspired by the great Victorian engineer I.K. Brunel as well as today’s engineering and science heroes.

The ‘Future Brunels’ Programme has received the Highly Commended award in the Educational Initiative category at the Museums + Heritage Awards for Excellence 2014. 

The five-year rolling programme aims to encourage more children to consider a career in science and engineering and is seen as pioneering by sector leaders including the programme’s principal funder The Lloyd’s Register Foundation.

Additional funding for the ‘Future Brunels’ programme has come from the Society of Merchant Venturers, based in Bristol, and the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851. Rolls-Royce supported the selection process as one of the Brunel Institute Corporate Academy members.

Students are selected to take part in ‘Future Brunels’ based on their passion for science and engineering, their potential, and ability to work in teams.

The five-year programme draws inspiration from Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s talents as an engineer, mathematician, artist and designer, and it covers:

The ‘Future Brunels’ take part in the programme six times per year with activities at the Brunel Institute and access to sites which bring science and engineering alive.  The group’s first trip is to Thorpe Park theme park to explore the physics and engineering behind designing and maintaining roller coasters. 

How can your child get involved?

The rigorous selection process takes place over two days in April and May.  Up to 50 students are invited to take part in the process.  Some students will nominate themselves, others are nominated by staff due to their interest in science and engineering.  The first day is at school, led by Rolls-Royce and the ‘Future Brunels’ team, to design and build a fan-powered car.  At the end of the day twelve students are selected to take part in the second day.

The second day takes place at the Brunel Institute, which sits alongside the ss Great Britain, to work in teams with students from other Bristol schools to create and test aqueducts.  This day is organised and run by engineering educational charity The Smallpeice Trust. 

Judges chose the ‘Future Brunels’ based on their ability, potential, enthusiasm for science and engineering and a positive attitude to team working – not simply those who achieve the highest marks at school.

Our current ‘Future Brunels’