Thursday 17th April 2008 by C. Freeman
Two adults who give advice and help to Brooke Weston's glider club have been made Science and Engineering Ambassadors. Science technician, Mr Mike Wilkinson and volunteer, Mr Chris Harle, each spend many hours helping students design and build balsa wood gliders. Now they have become ambassadors under the scheme run by Stemnet, the Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network.
It says: 'These individuals act as invaluable role models to students, through the work they do in schools.' There are 18,000 ambassadors nationwide, each bringing their own expert knowledge into schools and Colleges.
Mr Harle, a retired design engineer has worked professionally on a range of projects including automotive design, formulating shop fitments and working on the interior design of train carriages. He builds and flies model aircraft as a hobby and is presently working on a quarter scale model of a World War II American Mustang fighter plane. When finished, the balsa, plywood and fibreglass plane will be powered by a 65cc petrol engine.
Mr Harle said: 'Brooke Weston is the first College that I've helped out at and I enjoy watching the students develop their ideas, some of which are way beyond the norm. Some have a spark of forward thinking which is good to see. You can't teach designers, it's a talent that you've either got or you haven't got.'
He and Mr Wilkinson help out at the glider club for up to an hour and a half each week. Mr Wilkinson said: 'I like working with the students. I help out with the basic glider design and Chris will help with some of the more expert aspects. There's lots of other Brooke Weston projects which I get involved in, such as the F1 racing cars and the Engineering Education scheme at Corus. It's busy but very enjoyable.'