In the second week at The JCB Academy, new year 10 learners go to Harper Adams University in Shropshire for a one-week residential trip where they take part in a range of educational and leisure based activities. The classroom lessons involve PSHE (Personal, social, health and economic), English, mathematics, science and engineering. The engineering lessons, which are taught alongside Harper Adams lecturers include vehicle configuration, traction and power, steering and suspension and chassis design.
All photos from the residential are available by clicking here
The learners take part in two fantastic engineering based lessons; traction and power, steering and suspension and gear ratios.
Traction and Power
The learners used battery powered model vehicles with front wheel drive, rear wheel drive and four wheel drive to experiment with. Firstly the learners had to weigh the vehicles using an electronic digital scale. The learners then had to measure the amount of drawbar pull of each vehicle on different surfaces; AstroTurf, smooth concrete, loose sand and rough concrete. The learners recorded and analysed the results from each test. Another experiment for the learners was to analyse other battery powered model vehicles as they climbed a 30 degree inclined ramp, both in front and rear wheel drive.
Suspension and steering
The suspension and steering lessons were set in the soil barn at Harper Adams. Learners were taught different types of suspension and their purpose and also experimented with a small vehicle to analyse the turning circles with different configurations.
Learners design and build a structure using paper straws and a glue gun. Structure are designed to withhold up to 3kg in weight.
The learners were given a wooden board with fixed steel pegs in different positions and various plastic gears. The learners had to put the gears onto the pegs to make a gear combination according to the provided chart and then fill in the results of revolution that the driven gear makes.
The outdoor activities consisted of a climbing wall, Segway, archery and team building.
Learners also study English, mathematics and science subjects whilst at Harper Adams. One of the mathematics lessons is a business based activity. Learners are put in to groups and each given credits which enables then to buy a range of stationery and paper from the ‘shop’. Tasked to then cut out a range of paper shapes, produced shapes can then be sold back to the shop for more credits. The shapes are all priced differently and need to be produced to the exact dimensions. Shapes are scrutinised by ‘shop’ staff for accuracy and quality, and a price is then negotiated. During the activity there is a stock market crash which heavily impacts the prices that the shop buys items, some shoot up in value, some decrease. The activity lasts for three hours so the learners get time to decide the most efficient way to produce items, how much to spend, which items to make, etc.