In 2013, students from the University's Department of Engineering Sciences teamed up with the History of Science Museum in an exciting project focusing on public engagement, funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering under its Ingenious programme for public engagement.
The project aimed to capitalise on the Museum’s remarkable collection of inventive objects, while enabling young engineers to gain practical experience in public engagement bringing their knowledge and enthusiasm to the Museum’s diverse audiences.
A total of 18 engineers, mainly graduate students, were involved in the project, including a group of biomedical engineers. After a series of training sessions in methods of public engagement and museum object handling supported by the Joint Museums’ Volunteers Service, the students devised activities for a family day in March as part of National Science and Engineering Week 2013, attracting over 2,000 visitors. This was followed by a schools’ event and two further whole-day events for schools in June involving 160 students from local secondary schools. Activities ranged from experimenting with gyroscopes and Stirling engines, to steam pumps and mobile medical devices.