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School students put full weight into learning at UEL

students studying at UEL

Fifteen school students from Essex were urged to climb on the furniture during a recent trip to UEL. The group, from Heathcote School in Chingford, were testing the strength of materials during a practical workshop in the School of Architecture, Computing and Engineering.

The students were set the challenge of working in groups to produce a structure using compliant materials that would hold their team's combined weight.

“This gave students the opportunity to understand processes for designing something and a project brief around material properties,” said Paul Lighterness, course lecturer in the Product Design department at ACE.  “It’s all about looking at the structural integrity of the project and maximising the efficiency of the material.”

The trip was organised by the students’ teacher, Halil Ibrahim, a former UEL student who graduated in product design. The group also met lecturers and observed work done at the University.

“I feel honoured to have had the opportunity to return to UEL and give my students an insight into product design,” said Mr Ibrahim. “The visit has allowed students to gain an invaluable understanding into skills, problem solving and team work. It has also demonstrated the importance of planning and prototyping which is applicable to their current projects in AS-level.”

A second Heathcote teacher, Andy Dolan, said the students had a great time rising to the challenge.

 “This kind of experience for our students is so valuable to their wider educational experience,” said Mr Dolan. “Having a goal that is inspiring is integral to their success.”

Mr Dolan said that facilities at the university were very impressive and left the students feeling motivated to work hard in their studies in order to gain the opportunity to work in the product design environment.

Mr Ibrahim added that the visit had really inspired some students by allowing them to experience a day at the university, and that had encouraged them to think about higher education and possible careers in product design.

Notes to Editors

The University of East London (UEL) is a global learning community with students from over 120 countries world-wide. Our vision is to achieve recognition, both nationally and internationally, as a successful and inclusive regional university proud of its diversity, committed to new modes of learning which focus on students and enhance their employability, and renowned for our contribution to social, cultural and economic development, especially through our research and scholarship. We have a strong track-record in widening participation and working with industry.