PEAC students go green for engineering
Recently in Perth, Peter-John Grigson, one of Bis’ Mechanical Design Engineers attended PEAC (an education program catering to gifted public school students in years 5 and 6) as a guest speaker for a Green Engineering course.
Peter-John delivered a presentation to the students about what Bis does, the various solutions it is creating for next generation mine haulage, how Bis is working hard to reduce environmental impacts, and he even gave them an insight into all the cool things he does in his job. The students were very interested and asked very good and well thought out questions about engineering and Peter-John’s general responsibilities.
The students’ interest piqued when they learnt about Rexx, why it was designed and what it does. Peter-John then ran two activities for the students to highlight simple engineering practices.
In the first one, the students were given a challenge to see who could build the tallest tower out of newspaper and paper clips. Material costs were assigned to these items at $2 per sheet of paper and $1 per paper clip. The students worked in groups and very distinct design methods were presented. Prizes were given to the top 3 groups who could build the tallest tower for the cheapest cost.
Peter-John constructed a simple tower using 1 piece of paper and 1 paperclip to create a 58cm tower which was made for $3. This was the most cost-effective method and it demonstrated to the students that sometimes the simplest solution can be the best solution. The second activity was to highlight the design and verification process. Each student was given a sheet on aluminium foil and asked to construct a simple boat. Once each boat was constructed, the students were guided through the process to calculate the buoyance of their boats and determine how many glass marbles their boats could theoretically hold before sinking. With this knowledge, they then trialled each boat in water and slowly added marbles until the boats sank. Many students were successful in accurately determining how many marbles their boat would hold. Peter-John guided them in reflecting on their findings and determining why their boats either worked or didn’t work.
Peter-John said, “All in all it was a great session and it was great to see some many students excited about engineering.”
To find out more about the exciting opportunities available at Bis, visit Current Vacancies.