Watch it Made® (WiM), the engineering experience developed for 12-14 year olds by Cranfield University, has been awarded funding by The Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng).
The RAEng Ingenious projects are finding new and creative ways to engage the public – whether student, family, or adult-audiences – with engineering. Cranfield is one of 22 new schemes to be awarded funding this year.
The concept behind Watch it Made® is to enthuse school-age children about science and engineering by designing and manufacturing something that really works and they can keep. Funded by the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Ultra Precision, which is led by Cranfield University, the scheme enables pupils to design and manufacture a personalised wrist watch.
Professor Paul Shore, Head of Ultra Precision Engineering said: “We are delighted to receive the funding and acknowledgment from RAEng. It will allow this educational outreach project to see 500 children benefit from the WiM scheme this year.”
Housed in a dedicated manufacturing learning studio on the Cranfield campus, the children spend time choosing the design of their watch face dial and see how it is printed using UV ink jet technology. They then get hands-on experience mounting their watch case in a precision lathe, operating it and seeing their watch body machined. They can then personalise the back casing of their watch using a micro-milling process. Finally, the children assemble all of their manufactured watch components, together with some pre-supplied parts such as the hands, watch glass and strap. At the end, all leave with their own personalised timepiece.
The idea was originally dreamt up by Cranfield staff who wished to create an engineering activity that would make young learners experience the ‘pride of producing’ that engineering offers, and to engage them with science, technology, engineering and mathematical subjects prior to their GCSE subject selections.
WiM’s long-term goal is to enable all 650,000 12-year-olds in the UK to experience creating a high-quality, engineered product and provide an opportunity to interact with engineers, ask questions and share their views.
Notes for editors
Ingenious is the Royal Academy of Engineering's public engagement grants scheme for creative public engagement with engineering projects. The scheme is supported by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
About the Royal Academy of Engineering
As the UK's national academy for engineering, we bring together the most successful and talented engineers for a shared purpose: to advance and promote excellence in engineering. We provide analysis and policy support to promote the UK's role as a great place to do business. We take a lead on engineering education and we invest in the UK's world-class research base to underpin innovation. We work to improve public awareness and understanding of engineering. We are a national academy with a global outlook. We have four strategic challenges: Drive faster and more balanced economic growth; foster better education and skills; lead the profession; promote engineering at the heart of society.
About Cranfield University
Cranfield University is a specialist postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management.
Manufacturing Doctoral Training Centre
This higher research degree is associated with our Manufacturing Doctoral Training Centre (DTC). The Manufacturing DTC encompasses ten major research themes that benefit from the clear synergy between engineering materials, manufacturing technology and manufacturing management, supported by a strong and fundamental engineering and science base. This provides a powerful combination of multidisciplinary skills that ensures both industrial relevance and academic rigor that builds on state-of-the-art industrial scale research and development facilities that differentiate the Cranfield activity from other universities.
A tailored programme of seminars and events alongside the generic core skills training programme, provide those studying a research degree with a wealth of social and networking opportunities with Cranfield’s wider research community.