Watch making to inspire new engineers

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A group of children made their own watches at a university course designed to inspire the next generation of engineers.

Pupils from Goldington Academy were invited to Cranfield University’s Precision Engineering Institute to join its Watch It Made experience.

The Year 8 children spent the afternoon in the Manufacturing Learning Studio choosing the design of their watch faces and seeing how it was printed using UV ink jet technology.

They gained practical engineering experience by mounting their watch case in a lathe, operating it, and seeing their watch part machined, followed by the personalised engraving of the back of their watch case.

Finally, each child assembled their manufactured watch components, together with some pre-supplied parts such as hands, watch glass and strap, to create their personalised timepiece.

Goldington Academy head of science Amy Camfield said: “Our pupils thoroughly enjoyed the experience from start to finish. They were in awe of the intricate and complicated processes that went in to designing and manufacturing their own watches.

“It was great that they could personalise their own watch by engraving their names and date on the back; it was an experience they will never forget.”

Watch it Made is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). The idea was conceived by Cranfield University staff to create an engineering activity that would make young learners experience the unique “pride of producing” that engineering can offer, and to enthuse children into science, technology, engineering and mathematical subjects prior to their GCSE subject selections.

For more about Watch it Made, visit www.watchitmade.org