Royal Institution Masterclass Programme
For several years, Leonardo has run a very successful Masterclass Programme with the Royal Institution each autumn. The programme is aimed at year 9 students interested in science and engineering. Its objectives are to challenge the students academically, opening their eyes to the world of engineering and encouraging them to pursue STEM subjects beyond their GCSE years.
More than 40 students took part in the 2018 masterclasses, with representation from six schools local to Leonardo’s site in Luton.
The six classes in the series combine theory / presentation material with hands-on, practical activities, to provide pupils with an in-depth introduction to the world of engineering. The sessions are:
- Python Puzzles: Students learn about software algorithms and networking using Python and raspberry Pis, including how to use the power of distributed computing to solve a complex problem.
- The Enigma Machine: A class about the Enigma Machine where students learn about making codes to encrypt information, make their own Enigma Machine with a Pringles tube and get to use a real Enigma Machine.
- Pi Face: Students learn about how to make computers learn. They also use the knowledge gained from the previous Masterclass sessions to build a system that can recognise faces.
- Hot Stuff: Participants learn about different types of energy and how they are transferred, and then build their own loudspeaker.
- Wings: A class about aerodynamics, during which students discover how wings generate lift, before having the opportunity to design their own wind turbine.
- A Logical Element and Celebration Event: In this final session, students developed an understanding about the basic building blocks of electronics and logic gates, and how these can be used to store information.
The final masterclass is followed by a celebration event, at which the students receive certificates of attendance and showcase their achievements during the programme to their parents and teachers. Participants and their families also have the chance to discover more about career opportunities by talking to some of Leonardo's engineers.