Through the engagement with programmes like ‘Concrete in the Classroom’ and ‘STEM’ we have already begun to involve young people in the construction of the site, enhancing their confidence and skills. We would like to think that our efforts help to inspire the next generation of engineers.
Following on from the exercise detailed below, Armadale Academy visited ESME’s Almondell Model Engineering Centre to run their wagons. For a full account of their visit click here. Suffice it to say that the visit was part of ESME’s support for the STEM initiatives.
The handout put their work into context. The pupils showed a great interest in how railways worked, asking about the working of the points, how the train stayed on the tracks and how the steam engine works. The ESME members were happy to explain and demonstrate the principles to them.
The completion of our Museum & Heritage Centre will give us room to create a learning space for events such as this.
Our Secretary, Robert on behalf of ESME has been involved with Armadale Academy. The class teacher, Mrs Kennedy kindly agreed to accept the task of piloting 20 pupils who are in their second year Design and Make class (in the Craft Design and Technology Department) with an experiment.
The pupils were given a design brief to produce a 5” gauge mobile railway wagon with a difference. The only constraint was they had to base it on a theme. Themes were:
1 – Garden
2 – Aquarium
3 – Theatre
4 – Bedroom
5 – Pirate Ship
A great deal of thought and design has gone into producing the five wagons (which are shown in the accompanying photographs)
The only items not made by the pupils were the wheels and axles which were purchased from 17D miniatures.
It is planned that the class will have the opportunity to bring their 5 wagons to Almondell in June to test them being pulled by a 5” gauge locomotive.
The average age of the pupils is 13 years. ESME are hopeful that the initiative will be introduced to further schools within West Lothian as the response to the project has been very positive.
St George’s School for Girls, Edinburgh ran an event for their Primary 5 class and ESME were asked if they would like to put up a display to support the event. These events aim to bring all sorts of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) activities together.
A total of 48 pupils visited the display. Robert gave them a brief introduction into how a steam engine works, including a sauce pan with a lid to represent the myth of James Watt discovering steam power! Peter had his steam locomotive operating on a ‘rolling road’ which gave the pupils a view of experiencing the steam locomotive in action (they just loved the operating the whistle). Jeremy was operating his traction engine around the car park giving rides which demonstrated the power of the steam locomotive.
The pupils and teachers enjoyed the display and ESME felt that this was an event worth supporting as we are actively encouraging people to come along to the Almondell Heritage Centre and Museum to experience first hand the diverse opportunities to get involved with miniature engineering and environmental conservation.
“All of the staff and girls were all very positive about the day, and the experience that they had with your engines. It certainly generated interest amongst other areas of the school, and many have asked why they couldn’t have been involved too -so there may well be scope for a return visit!” Mark Ashmore, BSc, PGDE, PGDip Head of Faculty of Science
Midlothian Science Festival ran an event in The National Mining Museum at the Lady Victoria Colliery, Newtongrange. ESME were asked if they would like to put up a display to support the event which aims to bring all sorts of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) activities together. All events for the Midlothian Science Festival are community outreach and aim to run enjoyable science activities in Midlothian appealing to a large, diverse audience of all ages and backgrounds, from professionals to novices, from science enthusiasts to the merely curious. They showcase current and historical science originating within Midlothian and demonstrate Midlothian’s contribution and importance to science and technology at a global level and to broaden the horizons of future generations of scientists.
ESME felt that this was an event worth supporting as we are actively encouraging people to come along to the Almondell Heritage Centre and Museum to experience first hand the diverse opportunities to get involved with miniature engineering and environmental conservation.
These photographs are of the display
March to May 2018
Dale Lyons, Director of Concrete Scotland – ExpLearn has run the first two Rail WorkX events for young people to learn how the railway track is formed. Pupils from The Braes High School and Larbert High School were on site at Almondell on the 26th & 27th constructing between 20 & 30 metres of track.
Their day started with looking at preparing an appropriate Risk Assessment and Method Statement for the work they were about to undertake. They then moved out to the work area and proceeded to construct the track bed using Terram fabric over the Blaes to control weeds.
to fishplate them together.
Joint initiatives are part of ESME’s commitment to involve the local community and to help the younger generation acquire practical engineering skills that will help them into the workplace.
Who knows, perhaps we will be inspiring the future railway builders?
Octavian Concrete arrived at Almondell on Tuesday 14th March. Concrete Scotland was given a commission to deliver an 8 week construction course themed around employability by West Lothian Council.
One of our members, Dale Lyon, is the director of Concrete Scotland and devised one of the activities on the Octavian Concrete Program to include a visit to our site to carry out some track laying activities.
The 7 pupils really got into the activities and were able to run a train on the spoils of their labours – 20m of track – by the middle of the afternoon.
The participants of the program undertook tasks such as setting out, laying Geo textile, Laying and Compacting the sub-base before laying the track down and then running a train on the track.
Inverkeithing School 12th May 2017
Inverkeithing High School get ‘Working on the Railways’ when they visited the Almondell site during May. The ten senior phase pupils took time out from their studies to take part in the experiential learning activity developed by Concrete Scotland in conjunction with ESME. The young people delivered 30 metres of track on time and within specification at the prestigious platform section of the initial loop. Having spent the morning wheelbarrowing the stone, compacting and levelling the same the students connected the track sections then got to run the ‘Scamp’ engine on a couple of hundred metres of functioning track.
The hope is to develop this ‘Working on the Railways’ program further to enhance the ESME Society’s standing within the wider community and introduce a new group of youngsters into the world of model engineering