When I worked with the BLOODHOUND Education Team recently, I learned that some of them like to be known as ‘Educational Animators’. This was a term new to me, but I soon realised how apt it was when I uncovered this definition of ‘animator’: “One that provides or imparts life, interest, spirit, or vitality”. With ‘education’ attached to it, I reckon the title really suits all those involved with the Department for Education delivery programme.
Education Show Car all set up and ready for the activities.
My life as a BLOODHOUND Ambassador
My patch is Norfolk. There aren’t many BLOODHOUND Ambassadors in this part of the world, but I have been trying to spread the word about BLOODHOUND here for nearly two years. I have been into a few schools, involved with a STEM club, presented at STEMNET events and travelled to support some BLOODHOUND events outside the county. I have also been asked to talk to various Rotary and car clubs. All in all, being an Ambassador has been a very rewarding experience.
However, I don’t think anything beats being part of a BLOODHOUND Educational Delivery Team (BEDT)!
The Education Delivery programme
The BEDT visited Ormiston Venture Academy in Gorleston in Norfolk for three weeks in October, and I was able to help out for two of those weeks.
The programme is well rehearsed but each venue has its own challenges, especially in accommodating the (virtually) full sized BLOODHOUND ‘educational’ car and work zones for three groups of students, who might total up to 120 per day.
Different sets of students attend each day, usually from schools in the venue’s catchment area. Any Ambassadors who have been to a school and given a talk about BLOODHOUND (and maybe run a small activity) will be able imagine a little of what I am describing. However, the scale and intensity of a full-on BEDT daily programme is quite a ‘boilerhouse’ experience compared with anything I had done before.
Each day starts with an overview presentation of BLOODHOUND to all students, with as many of the team as possible ‘animating’ part of the project. They are then split into three groups to: experience 3D printing; build K’NEX cars to race; and have a ‘show & tell’ with the show car. Activity around the show car involves listening to and asking questions about its design, build, eventual running and ultimate aims. Alternative activities can be pre-agreed with the host school or academy, such as using ‘Dynacars’ to explain telemetry or ‘desert living’.
Some interactive science activities keep everyone lively and looking forward to a ‘drive’ in the simulator!
Why get involved?
All of these activities involve splitting each group into small teams and as an Ambassador your help in motivating, assisting and inspiring the teams is invaluable support for the BEDT.
In helping the student teams you too will be inspired and have great fun. The experience will be invaluable and your confidence in undertaking your own future STEM activities will greatly increase.
In working with the BEDT you will also meet some really enthusiastic and knowledgeable project people. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and my skill level at building a K’NEX car has impressed my granddaughter!
Take a look at the opportunities elsewhere on the website and if you find an Educational Delivery Team is visiting your area, please give them all the support you can.
And if this has made you think that maybe you could help as a BLOODHOUND Ambassador, please get in touch!
Peter Harrison, BLOODHOUND and STEMNET Ambassador