Trip to the Imperial College - 7th November 2022


The week beginning on 7th November 2022 was a National Engineering Week and as part of the celebrations a group of our Y12 and Y13 A Level Physics and Maths students attended an event at the Imperial College, University of London. The event was brilliantly organised, we were greeted and made welcome from the moment we arrived. We were invited by the Mechanical Engineering Department to see presentations by their 2nd year undergraduate students. We were all really impressed by the quality of the presentations and the amount of preparation that went into the research by the undergraduates. Our students had a very challenging experience in terms of the Maths and Physics involved. I believe the biggest benefit for them (whether they realised it or not) was that they could see the depth of the answers they would need to go into when faced by questions in the university interview, the strength of simple graphs and diagrams and bringing Maths and Physics theory into everything they talk about; even if they do not quite have the answer, but they can show what they would consider when trying to get the solution. 

Our students had made some comments about the event:

‘The trip was amazing, the Imperial College students were very welcoming and kind and explained their presentations wonderfully. My favourite was most likely the 1st presentation showing elliptical orbits and describing the difference between Kepler's Laws and Newton's Laws. It was very intriguing, and the college student was very clear in her explanation along with a fun and easy to understand PowerPoint for such a complicated topic, making it simple. However, all the presenters were extra-ordinary in the presentations as nearly everything that was shown was new to me and interested me quite a bit.  We were even offered refreshments and snacks after the presentations which was exceptionally generous of the staff.’

‘I enjoyed all of the presentations even if some of the maths and physics involved were outside my level of knowledge but I would outline my favourite to be the presentation about how F1 cars are manufactured around the forces they experience on the race track as the student presenting it seemed extremely passionate about the subject and this was shown with his wealth of knowledge on it.’

‘My overall view of the trip was that the topics introduced and explained were very diverse and fascinating, and because of how broad mechanical engineering is. What surprised me the most was despite many definitions of mechanical engineering describing what it was about, many of the topics subverted my expectations in what would normally be expected in being covered. My favourite topics covered in the presentations was seeing Fractals in Nature and how it applied from the Mandelbrot set. Also how different tunings in instruments such as Pythagorean Tuning, or Equal Temperament are applied and how they work, and finally noise cancelling in headphones, how it is applied actively along with the issues with how it functions in real time in accordance to its environment and how the headphone’s hardware is assembled.’

‘I was most surprised about how complicated it is to test the strength of the bonds between the atoms in chocolate, a lot more work goes into designing the shape of the bar and the feel it has in your mouth.’

‘Seeing how the undergraduate students were within their course and applications of what they had mainly learnt in their first year, meant I got a sense of where I’d be 2 Years from now if I were to choose this subject.’

Our students were wonderful ambassadors of the school. They were engaged and asking a lot of good questions. I hope we will get a similar invitation next year.

Mrs M Sowa