This week, local secondary school pupils taking part in Living Laboratory: Climate Action visited West Cambridge and Churchill College for a day of engineering activities.

This was the first of several activity days for pupils from across the UK who are doing their own authentic research, exploring how to make their schools and communities save energy and reduce flood risk. Highlights of the day included making and testing flood-proof homes and meeting engineering role models. As Dr. Rachel Thorley from the Department of Engineering and Churchill College explains, this project has a vital role to play.

It’s been really exciting working on Living Lab: Climate Action. It is so important for pupils to have these aspirational opportunities and see firsthand the vibrant environment they can be part of by doing higher education. One thing that makes this really special for me is bringing together young people and inspiring engineering role models. There are a lot of misconceptions around engineering as a career, and opening people’s eyes to the huge range of opportunities out there with an engineering degree is so worthwhile. For any pupils reading this: dream big and follow your passions!

Pupils taking part in the day enjoyed the hand’s on activities and touring a labs, makerspace and magnet hall at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology. Here they got to see the laser cutters in action and find out about the amazing research that goes on, with a lab tour including Jordan Ward-Williams.

Massive thanks to everyone involved with this project, including engineering mentors from FIBE2, Civil Engineering and AECOM.

Living Lab: Climate Action is run by Churchill Fellows Dongfang Liang and Rachel Thorley and was made possible by funding from the Royal Academy of Engineering, Ingenious Award, for public engagement in engineering.