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Pupils develop high performance sporting products
Aug '10
From 20th to 23rd July, nearly 50 aspiring 15 to 17 year old engineers enjoyed a unique learning experience at The University of Manchester. Sponsored by The Drapers' Company and working with the University's Centre for Textile Science and Technology, the course gave students the opportunity to learn about the vibrant, innovative and global industry of sports materials, which brings together science, technology, engineering and imagination to develop high performance sporting products.

Over the four days the students had an introduction into this fascinating subject, with lectures on subjects including electronic solutions for sports textiles, and a demonstration by Speedo of their high performance textiles which reduce drag. A visit to Sigmatex, one of the world's leading carbon fibre convertors, gave the students an insight into carbon fibre composite manufacture.

Students had a hands-on experience working in teams to complete a challenge which involved designing, making and testing an innovative pattern for a rugby ball.

Spokesperson for The Smallpeice Trust, Claire Fisher commented, “We are delighted to be working with the university to provide students with a valuable insight into the rapidly changing and increasingly sophisticated technology used in sports materials. We hope the students now have a clearer understanding of the exciting career opportunities available to them in this sector.”

Outreach Administrator for the School of Materials, Karen Donnelly-Bale added “It is really important to improve awareness of high performance textile technology among young people, as they will be developing the science and engineering applications of the future. We are very pleased to have been able to do this on the Sports Materials course in Manchester.”

The Sports Materials course is run by the independent educational charity, The Smallpeice Trust, as part of an ongoing programme of residential courses to help young people aged 10 to 18 learn and develop skills in engineering, design, technology and manufacturing. Through running over 32 residential courses and STEM enrichment sessions, The Trust has reached out to around 15,603 students across the UK in the past year.

Smallpeice Trust

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