The Innovation Hub is unique to BSB and aims to provide real-life experiences for students by bringing together Design and Technology, Mathematics, Physics and other disciplines from classroom learning into a practical, "hands-on" course. Established in 2016, the Innovation Hub now offers a beginners alternative for new pupils as well as an advanced course for older members.
Starting from scratch and embodying the spirit of both teamwork and competition, two groups of passionate students compete to produce the best electric single seat vehicle. Utilising professional-grade tools available in the Hub, students craft mostly in metal but are learn to use any material that suits their needs from plastics to wood and fabrics, using lathes, mills, CNC routers and conventional hand tools.
"How hard can it be?"
There is no instruction manual or clear-cut guide-book to follow – instead, the path to success is created by the students themselves. Each group is free to put into practice any design they please, thus limiting the project only to the limits of the materials, the pre-provided components (such as brakes, wheels, motors and batteries), and safety considerations. Other than that, the only requirement is that the car looks like a car and works like a car.
Part of that objective is to produce a car chassis, body, and drivetrain. The body of the car is manufactured using clay sculpting techniques, as well as composite technology (fiberglass and carbon fibre) and various other industry methods. With a final product in place, the teams move onto to testing and racing their cars. In the meantime, teams are encouraged to make improvements, adding whatever they deem worthy to their initial design.
Meet the Innovation Team
|“Being curious (and mischievous) as a kid meant it was only natural that I gravitated away from what I was supposed to be doing, towards doing extracurricular activities involving the sciences. This eventually led to studying Mechanical Engineering at Southampton University. During this time, I figured out two things: awesome capacitor research tends to be expensive and secondly, the most amazing way to learn engineering is to actually do it yourself. After graduating, I really wanted to give students considering an engineering application a practical sense of what they would learn. What came to mind was the Innovation Hub and I was glad to be given the opportunity to pilot this at BSB. It’s been an incredible journey ever since and I’m really proud of all the students who’ve taken part so far.”||“At BSB, I started in the Creative Faculty Department team as a Design and Technology technician in 2014. In recent years, the school decided to establish a new department with the sole focus on innovation and invention – it is here that the Innovation Hub is situated. Both the Design Technology Department and the Innovation Hub allow staff and students to work with new ideas, cutting edge technology and all testing is integrated in the practical part of the teaching process. For me, this is my dream job: having the opportunity to work with students in a dynamic environment, where ideas are exchanged and debated, and where the goal is to innovate and more forward. Before BSB, I graduated with a Civil Topography degree and I worked as a prototype mould designer for the Romanian State Mint.”|
|- Tudor Atanasiu, Author of the Innovation Hub||- Catalin Dobre, Innovation Hub Associate|
|Anya, Year 7||Adrian, Year 9||Sofia, Year 7||Pavel, Year 10|
|“I was 10 when I joined the Innovation Hub and at the time, no one believed me when I told them I was going to build a car – even I had doubts! There was a lot of trial and error at first, and one of the most important skills I learnt is measuring accurately, which sped up much of the process – we didn’t have to keep doing things twice! I think our determination as a team helped us a lot, and we learnt how to work well together and keep each other on track to achieve our goals.”||“I joined the Innovation Hub because I thought the opportunity to build a car and then drive it wasn’t something you did every day at school and I was always interested in learning about new technology and engineering. I enjoyed the process the most: putting the car together and then seeing it ‘come to life’ felt like a huge accomplishment. When we took the car for a spin on the track, driving a car we made was an amazing experience. I would recommend it to anyone.”||“I really think the Innovation Hub gave me a real boost in Maths and Science lessons by encouraging me to think scientifically and helping my confidence grow. Now if I can think it, I believe I can do it! To me, the Innovation Hub is like wonderland where any idea can come to life and I am really glad I was recommended to join. Because of the mixture of excitement and anticipation after a year of work, I think testing the car and seeing it work was the most rewarding experience.”||“I wanted to be part of the Innovation Hub because in Year 10, we’re already thinking about future career choices and I felt this was a real chance to really engage with the practical side of engineering. I soon discovered that planning was far easier than actually building something, which was often tricky and then brought forth new problems we overlooked. So I learnt to be patient and thorough in my work over the year. At the end, seeing all the pieces come together to form a functioning car and knowing we did it on our own, was a really indescribable feeling.”|
Innovation Hub News and Articles
A great article in National Geographic reported on the work being carried out in the Innovation Hub. Find out more about the results when children put theory into practice at BSB.
The Innovation Hub is back up and running for another year - more cars, more engineering and more F1 in Schools. The team proudly presented their accomplishments during a visit from the local press. Watch video!
The Innovation hub was created to help nurture unique ideas and give understanding to the exciting world of start-ups. Visit our Facebook page.
The Innovation Club will be starting again early in the new academic year. What will they create this year? See Facebook post.
Work in progress at the Innovation Hub - it will be doubling in size for the new academic year. See Facebook post.
Time for the Innovation Hub team to take the cars for a spin round the track. See Facebook photo gallery.
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