Petroc STEM Projects 2019-2020

Demonstrating STEM skills in creating a sustainable future for all: Action now

These are the projects for this academic year for you to become involved with if you wish. You can be part of more than one workshop but need to commit to the year once you have decided to ‘join’. You can invest as much time as you like into the development of the projects bearing in mind the adage, ‘the more you put in, the more you get out’. Although bear in mind other time commitments such as college assignment deadlines, revision, part time jobs and other commitments. You can contribute in the way that suits you and your skills the best. The minimum input is regular attendance to the workshops which will be scheduled within college day, or by agreement of the group.

For further information:

Workshop 1: To develop coding in all young people, of all ages, through the introduction of robot competitions 

The workshop will focus first on ensuring everyone is familiar with coding and robotics – so if you are totally unfamiliar with this and want to know more, you can also come along. Through the workshop members will work with VEX equipment to learn about coding, robots and the competitions established that engage young people. Then as experts and ambassadors, this team will engage with local schools to encourage and support the development of interest in a Robot competition to be held at Petroc ND campus in Feb/March. As STEM Leads in this team, you will then help organise and support this event, working with the young people during the competition. Once over you will be part of the team to evaluate the project and plan the next steps for further competitions, and further engagement with local schools to develop coding skills through robot workshops.

This workshop is for those people with an interest in global development and using your skills, ideas, and creativity to find out more about what it is like to live in a remote rural region of Tanzania, and work with the people who live there, to come up with real life solutions to help them to live a more sustainable life.

First, as a team member of this workshop you would attend a talk to find out more about this region and the problems the locals face. The group will then decide which problem they would like to have a go at tackling. More than one problem can be addressed if there is sufficient interest, and numbers to undertake the work.

Issues that this community currently face and are looking for help with solutions include:

  1. How to set up a computer hub for computer training for those who didn’t finish school. If this was established it wold serve as a point of contact for greater collaboration with the local young people.
  2. How can you set up a business in such a place? What business ideas could you have, and how would you advice such enterprises were set up, managed and successful?
  3. Do you have an interest in permaculture? Could you help how to set up a school garden that could be managed by the mothers. This would help tackle child malnutrition.
  4. They wish to attract people into the area through ecotourism but currently there is no where to stay. How would you suggest such a venture is undertaken? What facilities would you expect to see if you went as a tourist, and how would you design them in a way that they could be developed?

For those team members who worked on this project there is the opportunity to go to Butari and work on the implementation of your project, but this is not essential.

Workshop 3: Development of an app to promote litter collection and correct disposal of plastic

Plastic free Devon: This workshop is for those interested in working to use their STEM skills to tackle pollution, and encourage people to change their behaviour through the development of an app. This group will ideally have computer expertise and work to first of all understand the nature of the problem, then evaluate any existing apps, and then if required develop their own, trail it, test it and then introduce it to the local community as Petroc’s contribution to ‘Plastic Free Devon’.

Workshop 4: Development of online learning to enable remote rural farmers improve their crops

It is recognised that as climate change threatens farmers livelihoods in marginal regions of the world, the use of e-learning could help support these people gain access to new skills and understanding to help them to change their practices and adapt to the changes of a more hostile climate.

This workshop is for someone who would like to develop learning on line products with a view to helping support development goals towards a more sustainable future.

The client is asking for ideas on how his learning package for farmers could be converted into an engaging online learning experience. He will visit the college every now and then to provide feedback on the development of ideas and at the end of the year, the team will showcase their products and ideas.

Workshop 5: Formula 1 and 4X4 competition

This project works with local primary schools developing confidence and understanding in building racing cars and changing properties and design to enhance speed. You will be working in the local area at schools ad events to challenge young people to harness the excitement of science through fun interaction and competition work.