• Lavinia - Loredana Spargo

Looking back, working for the future

Autumn is the season to feast upon the memories of the summer but also to revel in the excitement of new beginnings.

This is certainly true for Team oUFO. We have had a busy summer of brainstorming, activities, teambuilding opportunities, and of course study!

Some of us have had the chance to meet more than once this summer, all thanks to the wonders of the Open University. Distance learning can be as isolating an experience as you allow it to be – that’s what we think!

The team partially got together at the Women in Engineering Conference in Birmingham, then at the residential school at Bath University.

Residential schools are opportunities to supplement theoretical study with some hands-on practice. There is always something exciting to learn, but this year some of the activities and the lectures provided surpassed expectations.

We played with electronics, robotics, we built structures and designed new products, we carried out lab experiments and investigated material properties. That is a lot of fun for one week!

While at Bath University, we made some new friends – team Bath Drones – who showed us around their workshop and invited us to a flight demonstration. These cool guys are an inspiration for us to create a long-lasting tradition within the Open University engineering community.

Team Bath Drones have given us some good advice for the road ahead, but we have also made our own notes when our colleague Lee attended the IMechE UAS Challenge 2019 Fly-off.

Our summer has been punctuated by STEM events we have taken part in to show our commitment to getting children excited about science and technology, and promote engineering as an amazing career choice! We have already worked with children of all ages (and adults), doing activities on light, space travel and mathematics.

With exams and assignments now behind us, we are all becoming really excited about the modules starting soon. Christmas has come early and has brought us tons of new engineering books for those dark winter evenings.

There is no shortage of things to keep us busy. Between work, family life, studies and the UAS challenge, our team members have a busy agenda for many months to come.

The registration for the IMechE UAS 2020 challenge opens on the 16th of September 2019, and we are ready to start this adventure together! With new members having joined us this summer, we feel confident that our skills, expertise and mix of personalities give us a good foundation to build upon.

This is a moment we have been looking forward to for a year. The time has come now to prove once again what Open University students are capable of!

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