Cambridge Consultants challenges Year 7 students to create new products.

On Thursday 2 May, Cambridge Consultants welcomed Year 7 students from Bottisham Village College, Parkside Community College, Stephen Perse Seniors and Swavesey Village College to learn more about the product development process within the technology sector. Through giving students an insight into the day-to-day roles of a technology developer, Cambridge LaunchPad aims to inspire young people to consider the career options available to them in STEM.

Ahead of the project day, students were visited in school and introduced to some of the world-leading product development work done at Cambridge Consultants. They were then tasked to come up with a problem that could be solved with a technological solution and submit a poster outlining their product. The ideas that most impressed the team of ambassadors were then selected to attend the Innovators project day.

Josh Furbank, Physics Teacher at Swavesey Village College, said:

“An amazing day out! The pupils get to try a wide range of activities and most importantly, get a chance to interact with so many people with loads of different STEM based careers.”

Activities started with a brainstorming exercise to come up with as many ideas as possible to solve a problem. Ambassadors explained how this process is used by consultants at the start of every project and how teams then work together to pinpoint ideas to develop further. The challenge was then introduced, to create a product to help a one-armed user eat a soft-boiled egg and toast soldiers.

To better understand the challenges faced, each team collected the user journey before brainstorming ideas for a product to crack open the egg. Some ideas included a laser egg machine to remove the shell, a robot that cracked the top of the egg with a spoon and the ‘egg-xecutor’ a guillotine to cut the top of the shell.

In the afternoon students worked with TinkerCAD, a 3D-CAD software, to design and print an egg holder that could be operated with one arm. They then coded a robot arm using Robot Programming Language to create the same holder, before comparing solutions that were already on the market to their designs. Each team presented their findings and products to the group, including the spife – a spoon with a knife’s edge; Eggbert sEgger – a cutter that removes the top of an egg; and the Egg Hammer to crack the shell and remove the top.

A Year 7 student from Bottisham Village College, enjoyed working with other schools:

“Today has been great because we got to work in a team with people we didn’t know, meaning that there was an opportunity to make new friends. Coding the robot arm was really fun because usually all coding is done on a computer so doing it yourself was much better and was good to help us work as a team. I liked the cool 3D printer and we got to print our own 3D egg holder. Overall Cambridge Consultants are awesome and definitely the coolest tech company I’ve ever seen!”

Over the course of the day, 50 volunteers currently working in the industry were on hand to support and encourage students during each activity. By introducing young people to a diverse range of inspiring role models, Cambridge LaunchPad provides an opportunity for students to explore a variety of roles, gain hands-on experience and engage them to work in these jobs in the future. Throughout the day volunteers judged each team on their teamwork, communication, curiosity and creativity. Team “Wolves” most impressed the judges and were invited to attend the annual awards ceremony at the end of the academic year.

Vicky Larmour, Head of Outreach at Cambridge Consultants, said:

“This was the third Launchpad Project Day that we have hosted, and we have once again been extremely impressed with the children’s curiosity, innovation and teamwork. As always, the day has also been very enjoyable for our volunteers, as the children bring a fresh perspective to every challenge.”

If you want to find out more about how we are educating, exciting and empower young people with STEM, please contact us at cambridge-launchpad@formthefuture.org.uk.

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