Earlier this month Chigwell School’s budding engineers visited the University College London workshop to put together their project designs. 12 Students from Chigwell School took part in the Industrial Cadets Gold Project, ‘an industry led quality benchmark for outreach and education programmes to build pathways through education and employment’ (Education Development Trust website). The Gold Project is designed for year 12 students to work with a mentor from a company with engineering experience, helping them develop technical skills, work skills, and show them the available future opportunities in engineering. This is a 20-week programme where a team have to design, create, and present their STEM project to an audience. 


This year Chigwell has two teams taking part, one creating a Europa Rover and the other a box designed to protect the valuables within. 

I sat down with Sophia, year 12, part of the team building the Europa Rover, their aim is to build a model rover that is functional: it will be able to move, controlled by a phone, calculate where it is using distance sensors, be equipped with a camera and LED headlights, and be able to handle the harsh, icy environment that Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons, presents. The team are halfway through their project, having just had their ‘workshop days’ in UCL’s facilities. These ‘workshop days’ were two consecutive days spent in the workshop where the team had the opportunity to build, code and integrate their rover. “We had arrived at the workshop with all our ordered pieces, and 3D printed rover parts, our two main tasks were to attach the body of the rover to the legs and wheels, and complete the coding to make the rover move. By the second day we had done almost everything, so we were able to integrate the two halves, leaving the workshop with a moving rover.” (Sophia). Sophia tells me that the group are yet to fully finish their rover, having a couple months until the completion and presentation day, but are expecting to finish on time. One of the final tasks is to complete a report, detailing the plans, issues, solutions, and other aspects of their project.


This task, although daunting, is very exciting and I wish the best of luck to the Chigwell teams for their presentation.