An enrichment journey to challenge the mindsets of our Junior School students.

At Dulwich College (Singapore), our Year 4 students have had the amazing opportunity to bring their recent unit of learning to life through a mentoring partnership with renowned engineering company Rolls-Royce. Incorporating skills gained across a range of core studies, including science, technology and maths, this exciting learning experience is now one of the most anticipated activities on the Year 4 calendar.

Tasked with a project on innovation called Invention Drives Us, incorporating a focus on renewable energy and sustainability, students were set a challenge by the Singapore Rolls-Royce team. Success criteria outlined that they must create a vehicle of the future, either a new invention or innovating an existing vehicle, which would solve a real-world problem. The vehicle needed to be scientifically feasible and to have autonomy of some sort.

Students were briefed by Rolls-Royce on their design process, and began by conducting market research to assist in understanding what problems adults had in their lives with modern living, before moving on to brainstorm ideas to solve these. Working in groups of three and four, they designed their proposed vehicle on paper before using computer-aided design package TinkerCAD to bring them to life. Continuing onto the next stage of the design process, students created prototypes of their vehicles using 'junk-modelling', refining, re-designing and re-modelling as needed.

At the halfway mark of the project, students came together with Rolls-Royce executives and Senior School science teachers at an ideas sharing session, pitching their inventions so far and gaining valuable feedback and support from our experts. They also worked with expert technology staff at the College to learn how to code automatic sensors which would then allow their vehicles to have the function of autonomy, one of the key elements of the success criteria.

Heading back into the workshop to then refine their vehicles, the project culminated in an Engineering Expo, where all our young future engineers showcased their learning and final vehicles of the future to the Rolls-Royce team. Not only was this an amazing project which offered practical science and IT learning, but it was delivered in a fun and engaging format allowing our young students’ mind-sets to be challenged and gave them an insight into the world of real-life engineering and design.

We would like to take the opportunity to thank all the senior executives from Rolls-Royce in Singapore who have generously shared their time and knowledge with Year 4, including Dr Bicky Bhangu OBE, President of Rolls-Royce, South East Asia, Pacific and South Korea; Graham Tree, Deputy Head of Engineering; James Partington, Manufacturing Executive Fan Blades; Vanessa Thacker, Vice President Network Strategy MRO and Andy Rowlands, Head of Engineering – Asia Pacific & Greater China.