The Year 7 students had a once-in-a-lifetime field trip to the University of Canterbury’s College of Engineering yesterday as part of their Mechatronics programme. They started their tour in the Mechatronics and Nanotech laboratories before walking across the campus to learn about rocketry and electrical engineering.
Looks of awe and glee accompanied every part of the trip, from donning lab coats and booties in the Nanotech ‘clean room’ to watching manmade lightning zap through the air in the High Voltage lab. Afterwards, the girls gave a deserved round of applause to Dr Chris Pretty, who organised the demonstrations, and his post-graduate student helpers.
Forging strong, meaningful relationships with industry is a key goal for Selwyn House School. Many of the girls noted that the mechatronics equipment we use is the exact same equipment that they use at UC. The rockets were created using the same brand of 3D printers and the same plastic filament, and the Arduino micro controllers that the girls have been introduced to at school powered many of the UC robots. It was an amazing moment when they saw how these skills can open up opportunities in the real world.
“UC was amazing! It had so many subjects and ways of displaying 3D printing and robotics and electricity! I hope one day I will go to that awesome university.” – Ava
“I learned that most of the stuff they used was the same stuff we use at school but they use it in more advanced ways.” – Mel
“I was really surprised when our tour leader said that the robots that picked up the weights were programmed by Arduino’s because I have used Arduino’s in school.” – Estella
“I really enjoyed the trip and I think it would be awesome to work with electricity like they did in the high voltage room!” -Amelia G