As part of school’s STEM initiative, working alongside the businesses at the Port of Blyth, Year 4 were given the opportunity to take part in a day’s worth of activities designed to inspire and engage the children in engineering.
Tom Chaplin, PR & Communications manager for the Port, took us on a tour of some of different areas of the Port. While we explored the site, he explained to us how the use of the port has changed over the years.
As well as this, Captain Billy Miller took us to see the Williams II ship that has been built in the Blyth Tall Ship workshop and will recreate the journey that William Smith went on in 1819 when he discovered the South Shetlands (and Antarctica the following year). We also got to see the workshop itself and did an activity linked to counterbalancing of a ship.
During our lunch our, some of us were lucky enough to be able to visit the Northumberland College blade repair factory. Here, students get a chance to learn how wind turbine blades, and other parts of a turbine, can be fixed if they have an issue as well as how they work. Mr Palmer showed us a ‘small turbine blade’ which was over 22 metres long, the inside of a nacelle and find out how the gears of a turbine work.
Mr Young from TDR talked through the history of engineering with us, highlighting some of the most important figures throughout history. It was wonderful to see how much some of the children already knew about these iconic engineers.
One of the activities we loved the most was our time in the Catapult building. We were tasked with creating our own wind turbine blade designs and then testing their effectiveness using a voltmeter. After each design, we assessed how well we had done and made changes in an effort to improve the efficiency of our blades. The staff at Catapult then shared some of the exciting things that they are doing in our home town, including currently housing the world’s largest turbine blade.
Our trip to the Port of Blyth really opened our eyes as to what actually goes on there and gae us an idea about some of the careers that are available to us in our home town. We are all looking forward to working together with Mr Rutland and everyone else at the port in the Future.