A group of seven 14 to 16 year olds have recently taken part in a two-week Technology & Innovation internship programme hosted by PA Consulting Group. The final presentation of the students’ prototype took place on Friday 14th July at PA’s Cambridge Technology Centre, Melbourn. The internship has been established by PA Consulting to promote STEM education and inspire the next generation of engineers and technologists.
The students from local state schools, other parts of the UK, and one from New York (USA), were set the challenge of developing a project with the theme “make the house help you”. They invented a smart bowl with integrated scales and a smartphone app so users can keep track of the nutritional information of the food they are eating. It has been designed to help people who want to control their calorie and nutrient intake, such as athletes, people with nutritional health issues, and those on diets.
Over the two week placement, students liaised with an internal client to capture the brief, brain storm ideas, create design concepts, develop an app and build a prototype. They then had to present the concept back to the client, their teachers and some of PA’s experts. The students were also guided on how to manage a budget, how to give an effective presentation and how to use 3D modelling software and 3D printers.
Frazer Bennett, Chief Innovation Officer, PA Consulting Group said: “It's been exciting to be able to work with the inventors, designers, engineers, and creators of 2020. PA Consulting wanted to give the students an inspiring kick-start with the creative, engineering and commercial skills they would need to succeed in a world that's changing so fast. The product they designed, and their presentation, inspired us all and I can't wait to see what inventions they come up with in the future!”
Quotes from the students include:
Jack Walker – Cambourne Village College: “This has been so much fun. We’re actually doing something, instead of just learning about doing things. I can imagine that a lot of my friends will have been on tea duty in their work experience. We’ve instead been given lots of freedom and treated like real engineers and technologists.”
Joanna Georgiou – East Chester High School, New York, USA: “PA Consulting Group is a unique company. This has completely changed my idea of engineering. I thought engineers would be really cut off and in a lab on their own all day. At PA, there’s so much variety and you get to interact with clients. We’ve learnt lots of new practical skills, such as using 3D modelling software and everyone has really encouraged us to ask questions and get the most from our experience.”
Max Jackson – Comberton Village College: “I’ve really enjoyed making things with a function and seeing what it’d be like doing consulting as a job. I’m finding it useful to see whether I want to go into practical or more theoretical work. I want to be a software engineer and really like that I wouldn’t be restricted to one team at PA Consulting Group, but able to work across the business.”
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