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STEM launch at Kings Langley campus

We launched our take on ‘STEM’ at the Kings Langley campus with a day of activities alongside pupils from Parmiter’s school.

The College provided budding engineers from Parmiter’s School with an opportunity to visit Kings Langley campus and get hands-on in the workshop. This was the pupils’ second visit to the College in as many months – they also took part in some practical tasks in the College’s workshops as part of Tomorrow’s Engineers Week back in November.

After the success of the first visit, Head of Engineering at West Herts College John McMahon was keen to have the Parmiter’s students back in again. Addressing the pupils he said: “I’m sure you’re excited to know that today you’ll be in the workshop, taking engines apart – and you will learn about mechanisms, the basic principles of an engine and how it all works. Students from the College have gone on to progress to higher education and employment, in organisations such as McLaren and aerospace company Safran. So I’ll now leave you in their capable hands and they’ll show you different parts and processes and help you learn.”

The students from Parmiter’s School split up into groups and worked with College students, who gave them a taster session teaching them about the different parts of an engine. After lunch, Motor Vehicle Engineering tutor Steven Haines took the students into the workshop and delivered an excellent practical session on mechanisms, materials and gears. Partmiter’s students, again with West Herts College students mentoring them, had the chance to completely strip the engines apart.

The purpose of the visit was to give the school students a taste of life at college and to allow them to demonstrate theory by applying it in the practical session in the workshop.

James Field, teacher and head of engineering at Parmiter’s School, said: “It was great to see that our students enhanced their learning at the College. It was especially rewarding to see practical application of what they’ve learnt – and the rotation session in small groups in the classroom worked really well. They’ve got an understanding of pistons and spark plugs and it’s vital that what they’ve done today overlaps with their GCSE curriculum. The country is crying out for more engineers and these students are the future. Today will give them the drive and enthusiasm to progress to further and higher education in engineering and then find employment within the sector.”

James Shiach, BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma motor technology student at West Herts College, said: “Today was really good fun and very interesting. My group spoke to the Partmiter’s students about turbo systems and the four-stroke cycle and how turbo changes effect certain characteristics of the cycle.”

Ross Mannion, BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma motor technology student at West Herts College, said: “It was great to see that they [Parmiter’s students] were very interested and intrigued. I was surprised with how much they knew already! They went from the classroom into the workshop to put into practice what they’ve learnt. It was impressive how they applied the practical knowledge when they stripped the engine down.”

Parmiter's STEM visit - Haines

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