Redland Green School

RGS Bristol

Future Brunels Scheme 2013

The Future Brunel Scheme is a five-year enrichment programme run by the Brunel Institute based at the ss Great Britain. RGS were lucky enough to be one of only four schools from Bristol to be selected to take part in this exciting opportunity. Three Year 7 students each year are selected to take part and the aim is to foster and develop the student’s interests in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) in an attempt to inspire the students to follow in the footsteps of Isambard Kingdom Brunel himself. The scheme was launched two years ago and our current Future Brunel’s are Charlotte Gale, Fegus Pick, Harry Woodward, Adam Sidnell and Romi Aggarwal. They have thoroughly enjoyed their experience of the scheme so far and have gained valuable skills, which they have transferred to their learning at RGS.

Current Year 7 students were introduced to the scheme this year in assembly and if interested were asked to write a letter of application explaining why they would be suitable. Teachers were also asked to nominate students they thought showed the relevant skills and attributes required for this scheme. These students were invited along to the first selection stage.

Representatives from Rolls Royce came to RGS to run a STEM activity as part of the first selection stage on Thursday, 18 April. The task was to build a small-motorised vehicle from materials such as card, plastic and wood. The students were introduced to the engineering behind car building and then set to work.  At the end of the day the groups presented their designs and raced their cars to determine the winner. All students worked very well in their teams and the staff from the Brunel Institute had a tough job selecting twelve students to go onto the next selection stage. Their decisions were based on the student’s teamwork skills, approach to the task, problem solving and attitude throughout the day.

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On Wednesday, 8 May, the twelve students who successfully passed the first selection day travelled to the ss Great Britain to take part in the second and final selection process. All the students were split into separate groups and joined students from three other Bristol schools taking part in the scheme. The day was run by the Small Piece Trust and the task was to build an aqueduct to carry one litre of water and support a 3kg weight. The students spend the morning designing and building their aqueducts and after lunch it was time to test the bridges. Most of the bridges held up very well, supporting the weight and carrying the water without faltering. I was very impressed with how well the RGS students worked with the students from the other schools and the creative and well thought out designs they produced. Congratulations to Livvy Drake’s group whose bridge was deemed the winning design.

Congratulations to all the Year 7 students who took part in the selection process for the Future Brunel scheme. The standard of work produced was excellent and I know the staff from the Future Brunel scheme had a very difficult job in narrowing down the students to three. The three students selected to take part in the scheme are:

Livvy, Ed and Ibrahim

I hope those that were not selected continue to develop their interest in science, technology, engineering and maths in school and beyond. We wish Livvy, Ed and Ibrahim all the best as they begin this exciting five year enrichment programme and look forward to discovering the next Brunel!

Miss A Diment
Enrichment coordinator