Borders College

College wow crowds at Borders science festival

Borders College was invited to return to the Bang Goes the Borders event at St Mary’s School in Melrose following on from last year’s success. Young visitors were wowed by various interactive workshops, engaging both pupils and their parents at what has been another hugely successful year for the popular event.

Borders College Rocket Cars

Lecturers Dave Black and Dale Clancy ran two Bloodhound rocket cars workshops, where there was a palpable buzz of activity all day with approximately 75 kit cars built and raced by visitors to the event. The fastest speed was 62mph at the morning session and 68mph in the afternoon.

A spokesperson for Bang Goes the Borders said: “Dave and Dale wowed the crowds again!”

Programme Leader John Rafferty also brought his own bird of prey to the event, demonstrating to visitors the GPS technology that can be adopted to track the bird’s movements.

Fraser Wight, Conor Bradley and Michael Kidd from the College’s Information Services and Learning Technology team offered various interactive experiences including Virtual Reality (VR), where participants donned VR headsets to visit amazing locations including the International Space Station, inside the human body and the coral reefs of the Galapagos islands using Google Expeditions technology. Throughout their journey, pupils learnt about their surroundings and were asked questions to challenge them to think about what was important about their destinations.

There was also the opportunity to try out basic programming skills using the college’s robot ‘Dash’, giving participants a chance to try out a new skill and immediately see its impact as Dash carried out their commands, moving around the room and solving puzzles. Coding has been identified as one of the key skills of the 21st Century and working with Dash provided an exciting window into this area.

Visitors could also try their hand at controlling a remote drone and piloting it to fly from one end of the room to another. This hands on experience proved very popular with several pupils expressing an interest in the possibility of a future career in drone flying after their taster session.

While many of the pupils attending are still some ways off thinking about further or higher education, Borders College remains committed to ensuring that it engages with the STEM subject areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics to deliver the most relevant and up to date learning experiences for current and prospective students.

Feedback on the Bang Goes the Borders Facebook page was all exceptionally positive and Borders College looks forward to participating again next year.

Published: Wed 27th Sep, 2017