Resources

Perfect pylons: as we try to use more renewable sources of energy and reduce our use of fossil fuels, it's important to ensure that electricity gets to us in an easy but efficient way

Engineering

Adapted from E.ON’s plugin2engineering online resource.

During this session your group will apply their knowledge of materials, forces and structures, build their model pylons and test to see how strong their models are. This session should fill a club timeslot as a one-off project.

In the 21st Century most UK households consume large amounts of energy. We need energy to power TVs, computers, stereos and many more electrical gadgets. As we try to use more renewable sources of energy and reduce our use of fossil fuels, it is important to ensure that electricity gets to us in an easy but efficient way: we do not want to waste any!

The activity

What you need

  • 15 craft straws
  • A glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Four pieces of string about 30cm long
  • Four 20g masses
  • A ball of modelling clay about 3cm across
  • A desk fan
  • Stopwatch

What to do

The task tests how good your group would be at building a pylon.

Engineering is ...

... being able to understand forces and materials to build structures. This is a great example of structural engineering.

Engineering can be taken at many universities, with entry requirements including A-Levels, Advanced Diplomas and Scottish Advanced Highers (www.ucas.com). Also, visit the Institution of Structural Engineers (www.istructe.org).

Related fields: building and construction, structural engineering, civil engineering.

Why not try an apprenticeship in engineering construction (www.apprenticeships.org.uk)? There are many roles in engineering construction, from design to maintenance. This industry helps to provide many of the facilities essential to the 21st Century.

In Scotland visit www.apprenticeshipsinscotland.com and in Wales wales.gov.uk/apprenticeships.

Supported by

  • Royal Academy of Engineering
  • Tomorrows Engineers
  • BAE Systems