Schools design concept plane

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 1 August 2000




(2000), "Schools design concept plane", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 72 No. 4.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

Schools design concept plane

Schools design concept plane

Keywords: Schools, Engineering, Design, Aircraft

How do you make school pupils appreciate how large engineering projects such as aerospace engineering are run as multicompany international collaborations? Well one way is to set up 55 schools in their own engineering design partnership backed by BAe Systems with support from the Warwick Manufacturing Group at the University of Warwick.

The National Eurocollaborator Project, sponsored by BAe Systems and supported by Warwick Manufacturing Group, is developing new kinds of curriculum work around state-of-the-art design and production methods. This summer marks the end of two years' work for the pupils and their teachers in 55 schools nationwide.

One of the activities under way in this project involves pupils from George Ward School Technology College in Wiltshire, UK, who have been working in one of the consortiums of schools (the project has five school consortia active nationally) to design and model a future concept passenger aircraft using the thinking and innovation of pupils from five different schools "joined together", as would be the case in a modern manufacturing team. Their collaborative project requires them to work with the support of British and German aeronautical engineers from BAe Systems to design the plane; and researchers from the University of Warwick to produce a rapid prototype scale model of the wing section, built on a consortium, or "workshare", basis in just the same way that many of Warwick's client manufacturers and BAe Systems operate.

Unlike conventional school projects in design and technology, which tend to emphasis individual work and much smaller assignments, the pupils involved have been tasked to work in a collaborative way, aided by advanced software made available to them by the national DATA CAD/CAM project and Internet communications between the different schools.

Details available from: Peter Rowberry, Warwick Manufacturing Group. Tel: +44 (0)24 76 524383.

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