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International 2015 Materials Education Symposium

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Accelerating Change: redesigning the curriculum to reach our destination

Prof Laura Leyland | School of Engineering, Design and Manufacturing Systems, Birmingham City University, UK

Accelerating Change: redesigning the curriculum to reach our destination

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In response to a brief entitled 'Accelerating Change: redesigning the curriculum to reach our destination', the project being reported was to develop the BSc Motorsports Technology course as a pilot in line with the strategic plan for the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment (CEBE) - and to do it quickly (four months). The Motorsports Technology course already integrated practice-based and activity based learning. For example, the IMechE's Formula Student project is integral to the second year (level 5) of the course. It is in the further development of these elements, and their integration into the more traditional 'taught' elements of the course, that we see the greatest benefit. A major innovation for 2014 is the first year Sustainable Racing Project. During this module students procure a donor car, which is then systematically stripped of all key components over a few weeks, identifying components, function, materials, process... The components are then re-assembled onto a race car chassis ready to be tested on the track, in a race series in the Spring. Motorsports Engineering scaffolding modules are delivered to provide the theory when it is needed to support the project module. Results We are currently delivering week four of the new course. By the Symposia we will have completed the first build of the donor car project, and will be able to report on this. Conclusions At this stage we can only comment on process rather than impact, but it is already clear that the project provided an opportunity to expedite change within a system which does not normally promote quick changes. It is clear however that some activities still need to occur within the system, and the response time for these may not match the project timescales. The support of senior management figures is essential to the success of such initiatives. It is not useful to go on holiday during such exciting developments.