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ENGINEERS! DO YOU NEED HELP WITH STEM OUTREACH?

A significant remit of the British Gear Association is to ensure the future of the gearing industry in the UK. Many of our members find themselves asked to go into schools to provide outreach and promote STEM subjects, for many this is not an easy prospect. The BGA are regularly asked for help with this and in response the BGA have worked with NUSTEM at Northumbria University to develop a workshop to be delivered to children supporting the Primary National Curriculum for gears pulleys and levers.

This initiative is an off the shelf kit that any engineer can take into a school to present a session on Gears. We know that STEM out reach can be daunting so we have created tutorial videos where we run the Primary Gears session as though presenting to a class and include any tips to use for those unfamiliar with working in a classroom environment.

This is a great opportunity for engineers and technicians to build links with their local communities, develop their communication skills and make a positive contribution to children’s engineering knowledge.



WHY PRIMARY?

Children make career-limiting choices early in their school careers: research suggests that many arrive at secondary school having already decided that STEM subjects, whist interesting are “not for people like me.” Working with primary schools helps show children the types of careers available before they have ruled out working in STEM.

ABOUT THE PRIMARY GEARS WORKSHOP

This workshop builds on the statutory requirements of the Primary National Curriculum for science. This is a short 30-60 minute workshop about gears to be used within a classroom setting. Simple activities allow children to develop and age-appropriate understanding about how gears work, and engineers will be able to use the workshop to talk about their job.

The class teaches the basic principles of gears and gearing including.

2. Gear trains & compound gears.

3. Simple gear ratios (e.g. 1:2, 1:3, 1:9).

4. Rotational direction & speed.

5. It will leave the children with a greater appreciation of the importance of gears.

6. Extend specific technical vocabulary related to gears.

7. Showcase a range of mechanical engineering careers.

To deliver the workshop to a class of up to 30 children, you’ll need a specific Gear kit available to BGA Members free of charge:

The kit contains:

  • PowerPoint presentation which includes animations on calculating gear ratio.

  • Gear kits for the practical activities.

  • Construction guides and ratio worksheets.

We are aiming to get this programme into as many schools as possible. If you would like to support this initiative by presenting a workshop at your local primary school please contact the BGA Office admin@bga.org.uk.

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