Workington Academy students, in years 8 and 9, have been working with Engineers from local companies over the last few months to create a habitat for humans to live on Mars. Inspired by the film ‘The Martian’ starring Matt Damon they had to identify all of the problems humans would encounter on the surface of Mars, they then carried out research into these problems and subsequently developed plans for a working model habitation. By upcycling old computer parts they made working wind turbines and fans to distribute air around the buildings, lighting was provided by LEDS. Oxygen was generated by a forest inside a giant greenhouse, which also provided food for those working on the base. Additional electricity was provided by solar panels, with hydrogen and oxygen being ‘cracked’ from water as energy sources if sufficient quantities of liquid water can be found.
David Williamson, Engineering Manager for Sellafield Limited said, ‘It has been a great experience working with the students at the Academy, with both the students and the Engineers gaining immensely from the experience. The project has given the students a small taster of what the life of an Engineer entails in their pursuit of improving the world, or other worlds in this case. Hopefully some will be inspired to pursue STEM qualifications and perhaps consider Engineering as a worthwhile career”
Peter Robinson, a Technology teacher at the Academy said, ‘it is a great opportunity for our youngsters to work with real engineers, they bring a real life perspective to the work of the students. It has been fantastic to see them engage in extra-curricular activities in this way’.
The Engineering club will continue next year and will be expanding its scope with more STEM activities in collaboration with the Maths and Science departments.
Many thanks to our engineers:
David Williamson, Engineering Manager – Infrastructure, Sellafield Limited
David Heaton, Senior Mechanical Design Engineer Cavendish Nuclear Limited
Gary Tomlinson, Senior CE&I design Engineer, Sellafield Limited
Nisanthan Joharajah, Industrial Placement Student, CE&I Design Engineer