Oxford University’s 'Objects of Invention' project shortlisted for major NCCPE Engagement Award

Congratulations to the team behind the University’s ‘Objects of Invention’ initiative, which has been shortlisted by NCCPE for its annual ‘Engage Competition’ in the STEM category. The initiative, led by the Oxford University Museum of the History of Science, involves 18 engineers from the Department, mostly graduate students.

One of just three finalists chosen from 240 entrants the initiative, funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering under their Ingenious programme for public engagement, was the brainchild of Chris Parkin, Lead Education Officer at the Museum. Chris said: "I wanted to find a way of capitalising on the Museum’s remarkable collection of inventive artefacts whilst enabling young engineers to gain experience in public engagement bringing their knowledge and enthusiasm to the Museum’s diverse audiences”.

After a series of training sessions in methods of public engagement and museum object handling, which were supported by the Joint Museums’ Volunteers Service, the Department’s students devised activities for a family day in March. This coincided with National Science and Engineering Week 2013, an event which attracted a near record single day audience of over 2,000 visitors.

Objects of Invention

This was quickly followed by a schools’ event and two further days for schools in June which together attracted over 160 secondary students from local schools. Activities ranged from experimenting with gyroscopes and Stirling engines, to steam pumps and mobile medical devices.

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