Members of the IET Western Australia Leadership Programme team with their bicycle design
The IET Western Australia Leadership Programme team, comprising IET Young Professionals, has developed a novel way of promoting STEM to young people.
The IET Western Australia Leadership Programme team was tasked with creating a way of promoting STEM to young people. After some discussion about the project, the team decided to create a self-powered bicycle that could charge electronic devices such as a mobile phone to highlight certain engineering concepts. Earlier this month, the team unveiled their design to visitors at the first in a series of University Open Days taking place around Western Australia.
Following some initial guidance from an IET Senior Committee member who acted as a mentor, the team began to plan the design of their bicycle through online research and by following instructional videos. As part of the project, they also budgeted the costs involved in sourcing the parts they would need, such as an alternator. One particular challenge the team faced was to design some customised supports for the bicycle frame that would be capable of withstanding rigorous pedalling. The team settled on a design resembling an equilateral triangle to steady the bicycle and withstand force. Once the bicycle was assembled and tested, the team prepared to unveil their concept at a series of University Open Days.
At the Open Day held at Edith Cowan University, around 35% of the participants were under 18 and the bicycle’s unique design quickly drew attention from passers-by. Many of the visitors wanted to try out the bicycle for themselves to find out how it worked, whilst giving their mobile phone charge a boost at the same time. The team was delighted with the results of their project and the level of engagement they received from aspiring engineers at the event.