Flaktwoods Visit - STEM - Colchester Zoo

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The reason for our visit to Flaktwoods is that Mr Gower and Mr Sudev have been helping at school with improved and innovative ideas for the Colchester Zoo Otter Enrichment project. Moreover, we have been informed that they are currently accepting Year 10’s for work experience and that it may be an option for us in Year 10.

On Tuesday the 13th of March, the STEM otter enrichment group went to Flaktwoods to experience a real working environment of a factory. We arrived and had to create lanyards to wear while on our tour around the factory which was led by Mr Gower. We where then taken to a safety briefing at which point we picked up earplugs and different shoes to protect our feet and ears from any harm, as well as wearing high-visibility jackets with ‘VISITOR’ labelled on. We where then taken on a tour of the factory where we learnt that a wide range of fans were sent to different locations worldwide such as fans for tunnels and preventing fire in them to Australia and smaller fans for office ventilation for the UK. We also learned about how they save lives in car parks by making extractor fans that can withstand heat for long periods of time, but that are also quiet enough for firefighters to hear over them. We were talked through the different styles of fans, and their quality control. We then went into a room where they test fans in longer tunnels and demonstrate their ability to potential customers. We then saw a laser cutter of a large size that could cut up to 25mm of material and an X-Ray machine to check for imperfections in the blades. Further into the factory was an anechoic chamber (echo-free chamber) where another quality control check of sound occurs which was a new and interesting experience for all. We were also shown fans which had been used in in naval submarines. Thankyou Flaktwoods for all your help and for the inspiration!

By Lucy Coombs and Henry Watson-Smith (Year 9 students)

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