Year 13 Design Engineer Construct (DEC) students were invited through Class of Your Own (COYO) to present on the Samsung stand at the BETT Show (formerly known as the British Educational Training and Technology Show). The international exhibition, which takes place in London over 4 days each year, aims to transform the future of education by bringing together educators with cutting edge ideas and technologies. Samsung were looking for cohorts of students and teachers who embrace the latest technology and utilise it in their lessons.; an activity which is intrinsic to the DEC qualification. The invitation came as recognition of the groups high ability and enthusiasm for study in the construction industry; a course which they has opted to complete in additional to their Engineering pathway at Future Tech Studio.
Alongside presenting at the BETT Show, the students took part in some fantastic presentations and workshops from leading firms in the construction industry, all of which were organised through COYO who believe that the best learning and preparation for the world of work comes from industry experts. Lendlease are an international property and infrastructure group and they welcomed us to their site offices; an intricate and impressive series of seriously high spec portacabins, in the centre their £2bn regeneration of Elephant and Castle in central London. The students were introduced to several members of their team; from recent graduates to managing directors, who talked them through many different elements of the 10 year long project. The vision for the Elephant Park Project is to create “a place full of life in Central London; London’s new green heart”. They started by describing the need for the project; the demolition of the deprived and dangerous Heygate Estate, the social and emotional impact of the future change on the existing community and how Lendlease planned to ensure they delivered “a vibrant, established neighbourhood, where everybody loves to belong.” The students were then given a tour of the whole site which included different phases of construction; completed, in progress and future plans, as well as the temporary park which is provided to new residents until the 2025 completion deadline for Elephant Park. The whole team at Lendlease were fantastic; they were engaging and informative and pitched their presentation perfectly to the cohort and DEC course requirements. It was a shame that we couldn’t stay for the entire day – the students really enjoyed themselves!
After a (rather long) walk, the group visited Allies and Morrison; an architect and urban planning practice who specialise in creating architectural models. Their practice, which fronts onto the vibrant Southwark high street, displays many of their intricate architectural modelling masterpieces in their window. The lobby area is impressive and is home to a collection of models which demonstrate the range of projects completed by the firm and the phenomenal modelling skills of their specialist team. Students were talked through the different types of models and the reasons that they could have been commissioned. The students were shown the modelling workshop, where the team use a wide range of materials to create 3D visualisations for their clients and models for structural testing. There were models of entire buildings, interior sections of buildings and highly detailed models for design testing. The students enjoyed the experience of visiting a highly professional architects firm in an impressive building. The modelling workshop demonstrated alternative, more hands-on, aspects of an architect’s role. The visit to Allies and Morrison inspired the students to think of more creative methods and materials to use on their journey to create their own building design.
After checking into our apartments which overlooked the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, used for the London 2012 Olympic games, we took a short walk to the offices of London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC). The LLDC was set up to deliver one of the most important legacy promises made in the original London 2012 bid. This concerns the physical legacy and long term planning for development, management and maintenance of the park and its impact on the local community and surrounding area. From the LLDC marketing suite there is an impressive view across the Olympic Park. We were shown the 3D map of the park and discussed the functions of key buildings and future plans for them. The students were told about the numerous design features incorporated into each of the buildings designs to improve the sustainability of the park. There are also buildings that have been repurposed since 2012 and have been given to the local community. The information provided by the LLDC has given students a greater understanding of the long term planning in relation to the local community. From the marketing suite, we watched the sunset over the Olympic Park and saw the way that lighting can also be used to enhance buildings and the skyline at night. The students were really interested in the “temporary” Olympic buildings that had been designed, renovated and re-purposed in order to be given back to the local community following the close of the Olympics in 2012.
Our second day in London saw our introduction to the BETT Show and our Samsung colleagues for the day. After a hearty breakfast; full English and cooked by the students themselves, we headed South to the London ExCel Exhibition Centre. It took a few minutes to locate the Samsung stand in the ginormous exhibition zone, but we were greeted by a large Samsung branded stand which was home to several large touchscreens, virtual reality headsets and brand-new 360 cameras. Our brief was to demonstrate the flexibility of the Samsung touchscreens, whilst also communicating the learning opportunities available with the DEC curriculum. After a few technology hiccups, the students set about showing off their skills in Revit and using multimedia content throughout the design process. The students were professional and remained patient during each of their presentations. They did the school, DEC and Samsung proud during their time on the stand.
During the day, each of the students had the opportunity to explore the other stands and presentations at the BETT Show. They quickly identified the most interactive stands and those which were handing out “freebies”. The students enjoyed the Immersive Experiences Digital Dome which deliver high energy curriculum shows within an inflatable dome. The teachers made links with the Bloodhound Project; looking for support in delivery of a more engaging Key Stage 4 Engineering curriculum, and we spoke to the Regional Manager for Google Education about the possibility of Future Tech becoming a “Google School.” Overall, everyone on the trip really enjoyed themselves. The educational visits organised by COYO were interesting and highly relevant to the current study and future career path of the students. The students were professional, polite and enthusiastic at each activity and had very positive feedback from the industry experts. Some of the students have been offered work placements through COYO and have (themselves) arranged a further trip to Alderhey Hospital in February where they will explore sustainable building design further.
Lucy – Lendlease Regeneration of Elephant and Castle
We went to the old Heygate estate, we were told about all the amazing things they were doing. We learnt that they had planted nearly 1000 tree’s around London to replace each tree removed plus two more. We also learnt that on top of each building they were making green roofs, and parks that are going to be built for the community. We saw how they worked as a business, that affordable housing and marketable housing is all the same quality and specification and that they are building for the community that everyone can take part in. Lendlease also told us that everyone that was involved in the project was in the whole building that we visited, people who have the very last phases from the very first so then they can all pass down different knowledge to each other. Personally I would love to be a part of Lendlease; how they operate and what they do as a company is something that I’d love to be part of in the future.
Stephen – Lendlease Regeneration of Elephant and Castle
What I really enjoy while going on the trip to the London was the Elephant and Castle Regeneration project. This project focused on rebuilding the old concrete flats that formed a very closed up area; that don’t create a safe environment and definitely didn’t promote a positive community. These factors resulted in a dramatic increase in crime rate in the area and giving the area a horrible reputation. However, by the time we got there it was hard to believe that was even the case, the regeneration is nowhere near finished but you can already see how it has so quickly improved the area and community. The buildings style promotes a way more positive outlook replacing the old concrete flats that were more likely to feel like a prison than a home. You now have modern brick flats with clear green space, and a place you would be proud to call your home the change is breathtaking. Also from a personal view I really liked the fact that the improving the quality of environment is clearly shown with the clever use of green space if it’s the park, water feature or even the fact they have managed to preserve a large amount of the tree population in the area.
Raussell – Allies and Morrison (Architectural Modelling)
The minimalist aesthetics of the vivid ground floor and staff was very welcoming. The grey structural space on the ground floor alongside the warm lighting complimented the showcasing of the models exhibited. From this, I was able to visualise a vast number of models that ranged from conceptualised masses to detailed regional external environments that provided a good sense of the development stages. Additionally, we were reluctant enough to view the model workshop briefly, which was fascinating from my standpoint as an individual who enjoys model making. Overall, it was engaging from a prospecting architecture student as it is enticing to have a better understanding of the projects I may potentially work on in the future after I finish my Architectural studies.
Saul – London Legacy at the Olympic Park
What I really enjoyed about the London trip was going round the Olympic Park. You could really appreciate the work that the architects put into designing the buildings. We went and saw the Orbit, The Olympic Stadium and the Aquatics Centre. We learnt how the Architects tried to make their buildings sustainable, and how they are now used after the Olympics. The Aquatics Centre uses a sustainable system to heat the building. The heat from the pool goes into the vents and it is then used to heat the rest of the building. I thought this was really cool , and really liked how it was integrated into the building. We also saw how the buildings were used after the Olympics, and a hotel was converted to Student Residence, the Olympic main Stadium is now used as the West Ham Stadium, and the Orbit has been changed from a Commentating stand, to a slide. These buildings (apart from the stadium) are now public access, and this draws more money in. I loved taking photos of all of the buildings, to use in my portfolio and give me inspiration for my drawings. The Aquatic Centre had a really awesome roof, that sloped and dipped like a wave, accentuating the water theme, the curtain system windows allowed a view of the blue water, and it made great use of the space. I really liked how in place this building looked. Despite its odd, but cool shape, it doesn’t look like it could fit anywhere else. The Orbit was a huge building, it towered over the stadium. After the Olympics , the Orbit was turned into a slide that the public could go down (for a price of course) overall i think the London trip was great.
Simone – Samsung UK
We were given the opportunity to be able to present our DEC project work using the interactive whiteboards that Samsung provided at the Bett Show 2017. Our job was to introduce what the new course DEC is all about. We used the Architecture software Revit and other software to show the content of the project and the procedure we have to go through on the course. We were able to show how Samsung’s new innovative technology can be used for real life education purposes. As a team we demonstrated how to design a building from scratch given a plot of land. This included; evaluating the land and which plot was most suitable to build on considering health and safety issues, environmental factors, most accessible, and the effect on the locals. DEC links with Samsung technology as it can visually present the use of the software needed to create a successful building, you can apply features just as easily as you can on a PC however it engages teamwork and lessons can be used through the interactive whiteboard to visually present how to work the programs.
Raussell – Food Review
Impressive. Most Impressive. Food brought the brightest level of joy to me, it brought a universal experience that is essential! It allowed everyone to become stimulated into conversations that brought us all together as we shared one common love. We feasted to celebrate our 18,000 step adventures of learning, friendship and exploration. Personally, the chicken noodles complemented with the soft tapioca in milk tea as a refreshing drink was one of the trips greatest pleasures as I could taste the expense of London in the food itself.
Simone – Accommodation Review
The accommodation exceeded expectations and was a luxurious experience. City views to watch the sunset and sunrise completed the city break. Having an apartment was much more spacious and enjoyable than a hotel room, we had our own living space and kitchen area where we were able to use real life skills such as cooking which was great fun. The standards of the apartments were that good that I would personally go back to myself for other visits to London.
Lucy – Life Learning
Over the two days we learnt a lot about each other and life skills. First of all we all had to get on the tubes in London, these were very crowded and a free for all! I told myself over and over how to get back to the apartments if I had got lost – luckily I didn’t. Then on Tuesday evening we had to get the items for breakfast, this was eventful as the boys left me and Simone to fend for ourselves in the busy Sainsburys. Wednesday morning having the wake up call at 6AM from Simone, we started breakfast at 8. It took us a whole 10 minutes to find the switch to turn the oven on – you can tell how it went! All in all none of us got food poisoning and all the food was eaten.
Saul – Travel Review
The travel for me, was alright. We traveled on the tube most of the time, to get from A to B, but that was all I liked about it. I’m not a fan of trains, and it moved left and right and up and down, and made really weird noises! Somehow reminded me of Death Eaters from Harry Potter…
I didn’t really like walking everywhere, and my feet really hurt, but to be honest, I think it was worth it, even if i am really tired right now! The train there and back didn’t feel like it took a long time, but it was over 2 hours. This train, fortunately, wasn’t as busy, it was stable and we all had a laugh. I reckon this Trip was amazing, and the walking and the busy trains were worth it!
Stephen – Entertainment Review
I had a laugh on the trip, I love the fact that we were learning things while maintaining a casual atmosphere, I believe this was done by balancing work with play. I mean relaxing in an apartment playing a simple board game was actually really fun and relaxing after being on our feet for most of the day. Plus the apartments were perfect to put your feet up and just watch TV and talk for a bit. So the entertainment was nice and laid back which worked with the trip because it meant we could have a good time without overworking ourselves.
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