Authors: Katie Barraclough, Jamie Bayliss, Sammee Bhatti, Tom Binks and Andy Brooker (first year mechanical engineering students)
Our departmental competition winning video: What is Engineering?
The competition brief
We were asked to create a short, educational video to inform school children of what engineering is. Which is important because engineering isn’t something which is taught in schools, so there is not much awareness of it. There wasn’t much else that was specified so there was quite a lot of freedom in what we could do, which benefited us as a group. We gelled from the start, we all get on. Having the tutor meetings helped to get everyone together. If we’d have had different ideas of what to do then it might have been harder, but we all wanted to get it done as quickly and simply as possible, and it just fell into place.
Developing our concept
We made an online group chat so everyone knew what was going on all the time. This meant we could do our bits without all meeting together at the same time, which was a lot more convenient. We researched some stuff beforehand, different points of view on engineering. It helped a lot that we had similar ideas of what we wanted to do. We all agreed early on that nobody wanted to be standing in front of the camera and talking. So we decided to narrate over drawings, illustrating our idea of what engineering is, and Katie’s drawing skills were excellent. We planned it as a group and then gave each of us a role - it was like a production line. It was a fairly quick process in the end.
The best bit
When we watched it for the first time – seeing the finished product was definitely the most enjoyable part of the project. We’d all done different bits so it was good to see it all come together. It was also great winning the competition, though we groaned when we realised we would have to go up on stage to receive it.
Our top tips for next year entrants
Try and do something different, to grab the attention of whoever’s watching. Make it stand out. Something unique. And don’t overstress it – keep it simple. It’s the first couple of weeks of university when there are lots of things going on, so don’t make it the be all and end all, just have fun doing it.