This outreach activity took place on July 4th, 2016
The activity was hosted by the Faculty of Engineering of University College London, London, United Kingdom
Mirko Bonfanti and Carlos Ledezma were facilitators of this activity. There were between 30 and 40 participants, all female, aged between 15 and 17 years.
The aim of the event was to encourage girls about to pass their A-levels to take on engineering degrees. The girls were toured around the university to have a look at the different engineering disciplines UCL has to offer. The tour included talks about how engineering affects everyday life, the possibilities of growing in academia and industry and visits to the different laboratories of the university.
Tours were divided in three groups of 12-15 girls each. During the tour on mechanical engineering IRP5 and IRP6 were presented by means of a practical approach. The girls were invited to take part in two simple measurements (heart rate and SpO2 using a pulse oximeter and blood flow changes by means of ultrasound) to show how one can obtain data that represents the variables one is trying to model. Afterwards, the projects were presented using simulation results to show how biomedical measurements are translated to computerized models. A particular focus was made during the talk on the necessity of computer models to design therapies and predict the behaviour of the human body, as one cannot perform human trials every time one wants to investigate a particular behaviour.
The girls showed interest during the presentations, easily volunteering to take part in the measurements and making questions about the possibilities in biomedical engineering. Questionnaires taken at the end of the event showed that the mechanical engineering tour had a good reception amongst the students, faring better than other disciplines, and reception showed a substantial improvement when compared to previous years.