Marine engineering workshop - creating a container ship in a science lab
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Marine engineering workshop - creating a container ship in a science lab

Earlier this week, the Marine Society & Sea Cadets challenged our Year 9 students to design and construct a working model of the Maersk Triple E class ship (one of the largest container ships in the world) in the confines of a science lab and a two-hour practical session.    

With a very impressive presentation, Dan Simons from the Marine Society & Sea Cadets took students through the applications, the opportunities, the statistics and the absolute dependency we all have upon marine engineers and the work they do. Students exercised their maths and science knowledge and creativity skills at all levels. Dan commented repeatedly of the confidence and unprecedented capability of our students. 

In the practical sessions, he was amazed by the ‘soft-skills’ of our Year 9s and said he had never seen such natural, comfortable and structured teamwork in this age group. With silver foil, two sheets of A4 card and a couple of pieces of wire, the groups assembled some interesting and creative models. Some started with the maths of space, density and buoyancy, while others looked for hydrodynamics and application for their design parameters. With marbles as the payload testing resulted in a massive 215 unit (that’s 258g) winning design. 

To finish the day on a total high, it seems our Year 9 marine engineers had produced … the highest payload score of any participating school since Dan set out on this quest 300 schools ago!   

The second part of the day was given over to a very much more machinery based demonstration. Our Sixth Form physicists and chemists had a chance to see the internal workings of a marine diesel engine demonstration unit and Dan worked through the core principles of the internal combustion engine with them.    


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