Go4SET links teams of six Year 8 and Year 9 students with employers and universities to offer a 10-week Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Project. The Dowdalian team was linked with an enthusiastic engineer from One Subsea, Mr L Dimitriou, who assisted Mr Hide and Dr Holden on a weekly basis with the coordination and overall delivery of the project.
The ‘My School is an Island’ project challenged students to think of Dowdales as an island, transforming it so it could be a fully functioning island setting. This could be located anywhere in the world but must include energy use, impact on the environment, and making the facility sustainable.
The talented Dowdalians focussed on relocating the school to a self-sustainable island near Sweden. The team proposed an energy efficient concept for the island that saw the growing of algae within a school managed algae farm. The team conducted in-house algae growing experiments within the school greenhouse to prove to GO4SET judges that algae can be grown easily and used as an alternative energy.
The team were trying to prove that the grown algae could be used as an alternative energy resource by extracting the naturally occurring oil within algae and converting it into a viable fuel. The 10-week project concluded with a written report of the teams proposals, research, analysis and evaluation and a verbal presentation to a panel of judges.
During the 10-week project the team of six had a unique opportunity to visit industrial practice. This visit allowed the students to see how an engineering practice operated alongside gaining an appreciation for local job opportunities in this sector. The team of six travelled to One Subsea, Barrow who are responsible for designing and manufacturing electric connectors primarily for use in hostile environments, both subsea and downhole. The visit presented a fantastic overview of the company from the design and testing period to packaging and logistics.
The culmination of the 10-week project took place on Monday July 4th at Furness College. The team of six girls had to present and defend their ideas to a panel of assessors.
The Dowdalian team did a remarkable job and delivered an excellent presentation that showed off their knowledge of algae cultivation.
The assessors were extremely pleased with the presentation, overall innovation and written report and the team were delighted when they were presented with the ‘Design Innovation Award’ at the final ceremony.