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Reigate students grapple with nuclear engineering
10:04pm Monday 16th September 2013 in Local News
Two students from Reigate's Dunottar School spent part of their summer getting to grips with nuclear engineering.
Year 11 pupils Sian Tindall and Rachel Whitehouse, both 15, attended a four-day residential course at The University of Manchester, sponsored by the University’s Dalton Nuclear Institute.
In collaboration with the National Nuclear Laboratory, the course was organised by The Smallpiece Trust, an independent charity which organises residential courses to help young people aged 13 to 18 learn and develop skills in engineering, design, technology and manufacturing. Rachel said: “Our teacher gave us information about The Smallpiece Trust. We chose the course because we wanted to support what we’re doing in physics at school.”
During the course, 50 students took part in a combination of presentations, workshops, practical ‘design and make’ projects, and a final assessment which involved demonstrating their finished product, complete with design drawings, method statements and risk assessments. A variety of topical subjects were tackled, including radiation, the environment, health and safety and the decommissioning of nuclear plants.
Masterclasses covering nuclear waste, alternative fission systems and the Japanese plant at Fukushima were also included.
Dr John Roberts from The University of Manchester School of Physics and Astronomy, said: “Working in partnership with The Smallpiece Trust and the National Nuclear Laboratory enables us to provide an introduction into nuclear engineering to Key Stage 4 pupils in a challenging and invigorating way. “The students had the chance to attend thought-provoking presentations and demonstrations delivered by university experts, and to quiz industry leaders in a special "Question Time" event. “It’s been an inspirational four days on campus and the feedback has shown that the students enjoyed the experience enormously.”