I’ve run quite a few workshops in the past and so have worked out some of the things that make a workshop good and bad. Workshops with a lot of talking don’t really work very well, it’s all about actually doing something and being creative.
The best workshops I’ve been involved in is where we don’t tell the students what to do, just give them the problem, give them some materials and let them come up with their own way of solving it. A workshop I used to run involved using some bits of string, material, balloons and foam to protect an egg when dropped from a height. This was to simulate landing a spacecraft on Mars. We never told them how to do it, but by them working in teams of two or three, coming up with their own ideas and asking questions, they were able to get so much more out of the activity. A lot of the ideas they came up with were so much better than any of us engineers could have.
I’m really excited about developing my workshop, and really hope I’m successful in this competition. Just by letting the students play with the equipment I give them I hope to give some inspiration, and with the enthusiasm I’ve picked up from this I think it will be amazing!