Let off STEAM with high-tech activities

Published Monday 23 April 2018 at 10:33

Aspiring engineers will be able to work on a virtual jet engine when a high-tech activity truck rolls into Blackburn.

The University of Sheffield’s Mantra (manufacturing transporter) is a specially-customised HGV trailer packed with cutting-edge machinery and simulators.

It gives young people hands-on experience of the technology used in modern manufacturing and aims to inspire them to take up careers in engineering.

Mantra will be one of the technology-themed activities at the National Festival of Making which takes place in Blackburn town centre on May 12 and 13. The free festival is a celebration of creativity and will include family workshops, markets, art and craft, street theatre, music and food.

Visitors to the festival’s STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and design and maths) Pavilion will also be able to work a robotic arm, take part in a challenge to build a Lego bridge and learn how to make the perfect paper plane. Pupils from St Bede’s RC High School, Blackburn, will show off a racing car which they have built.

Helen Heggie, curator of the STEAM Pavilion, said:

It was one of the liveliest places at last year’s festival.

High-tech, hands-on opportunities rarely come together in one place. Most activities are free so if inspiration doesn’t strike on the first go, visitors can keep coming back until they find something that gets them really excited.

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