Bridging the Gap Between Education and Industry

Sixteen Year 8 students have taken part in a project aiming to bridge the gap between education and industry.

Over the past nine weeks, the students have been designing prototypes for a cistern lever handle that would allow small children, and those that are less able, to use a toilet with ease. Students were split into four design teams to develop a product which they would pitch to Thomas Dudley, a West Midlands based manufacturer who set the project brief.

As part of the project, staff and students received professional training in SOLIDWORKS and invaluable support from CAD designers at Thomas Dudley and DATA (Design and Technology Association).  Something that has proved integral to the success of this project.


Visit to Thomas Dudley

In February, the group visited Thomas Dudley for a guided tour of the injection moulding and CAD facilities.  During the visit they learnt about the history of the company and developed a working knowledge of a toilet system and the various aspects involved in the design and manufacturing process.  The students final activity of the day was a challenge set by Thomas Dudley: To reassemble the components of a toilet cistern using a CAD (Computer Aided Design) drawing. Quickest group wins!

Presentation Day

On Wednesday 22 April, students presented their final ideas and prototypes to a panel of experts in a “Dragons Den” style event, and Thomas Dudley generously awarded all of the students involved in the project with a prize!

Congratulations go to Erin Turnbull, Sophie Bates, Timothy Morris and Jay Hudson for their innovative “Hungry Caterpillar” design.

Commiserations to Ellie Hinnet, Ethan Young, Jaiden Malhotra, Shahrukh Hussain, Paco Cheung, Arjun Uppal, Jassimran Tamber, Jay Patel, Sukhpreet Bains, Jordache Crawford Brown, Naveen Gharcha and Jordan Glean.


Well done to all of the students.  You should be incredibly proud of your achievements.

A huge thank you again from us here at Highfields, to Thomas Dudley and DATA. We have really enjoyed the project!

Posted on April 24, 2015 .