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WMG T Level students bring the Flame of Friendship to life

In the run up to the 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic games, the Flame of Friendship torch has been relayed across 62 primary, secondary and special educational needs schools in Coventry, and has crossed the finishing line at The University of Warwick campus on Monday 8th July.

The torch was designed by 12-year-old Hester, from Finham Park School following a competition in which more than 2,000 Coventry students took part.

Following the competition, the Warwick Institute of Engagement (WIE) reached out to WMG, to assist in the design and manufacture of the torch, with Technical Apprentice and Development Manager at WMG, Zac Parkinson, knowing this would make a great project for his T Level students.

Zac explains: The entire product development process, from design to manufacture, perfectly aligned with their studies. Throughout the project, we ensured that the T Level students liaised directly with Hester, managing expectations about what was achievable. They thoroughly investigated material choices, manufacturing processes, safety considerations, assembly, and lead times.”

Meet two of the T Level placement students, Millie Read and Bailey Murphy, as they discuss working on the project.

What role did you take in creating the torch?

Millie: My role was to create the torch on Solidworks which is a computer-aided design and engineering system. This was used to enable the torch to be properly viewed before decisions were made on how to manufacture it.

Bailey: My role in the creation of the Flame of Friendship torch revolved around the CAD designs (of the torch) and the assembly of the final product. We did presentations to the students that created the original design, to help explain any changes we made. It was also an opportunity for the students to ask any questions.

How did WMG bring this together to make it a reality?

Millie: WMG allowed us (T Level students) time to work together and find solutions with the help of one of the technicians. Once we had some solutions, this gave us the freedom to learn and explore all opportunities.

Bailey: WMG helped and supported us through the entire process and offered their knowledge in engineering to help us come up with better solutions.

What were the key things you had to consider when making the torch?

Bailey: One of the key things we had to consider when making the torch was the weight of it due to the age group holding it. Another thing was ensuring it was durable and corrosion resistant as it would be subject to many different environmental factors.

What challenges did you face when creating the torch?

Millie: After reviewing the concept design and considering both the customer base and the journey the torch would undertake, we needed to ensure the torch's robustness and durability without compromising its aesthetic appeal.

Bailey: When designing the different components to make up the torch, they had to be altered many times to improve the overall design.

What is the representation of the torch and why is that important?

Millie: The stained-glass windows from Coventry Cathedral, which constitute forgiveness and friendship, are represented in the Flame of Friendship design - showing the strong community within Coventry.

What does being part of this project mean to you?

Millie: This project has meant a lot to me; it is the first one I have ever worked on with the support from a company (WMG).

Bailey: I am proud to be a part of this project and think it is a great experience for the school kids.

What inspired you to work on a project such as this?

Millie: My inspiration was to help bring an idea from a younger person to life, and to show them the amazing opportunities that engineering can bring.

WMG is proud to have been able to provide Millie; Bailey and Dan the opportunity to manufacture the Flame of Friendship torch through the T Level placement scheme.

Since March 2023, WMG has welcomed students to work alongside experienced technicians, offering a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience in a real-world setting - bridging the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application, and in turn ensuring that students are well-prepared for their future careers in engineering and manufacturing.

WMG has so far enrolled 12 students, with the first four set to graduate this year. These students have benefited immensely from the programme.

Find out more about T Level placements here: https://warwick.ac.uk/research/technicians/ or email: wmgtlevels@warwick.ac.uk

Mon 08 Jul 2024, 12:39 | Tags: Outreach Education Manufacturing