Hello and welcome to Engineering at Reigate College.
Our names are Tom Jacobs and Nicky Robinson and we’re the course leaders for the BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate in Engineering. We’re really pleased you’ve chosen Engineering as one of your subjects and we’re looking forward to meeting you and welcoming you to the department in person at the beginning of the academic year.
Studying Engineering will be new for many of you, so we’re keen that you complete a series of tasks and activities over the coming months in preparation for starting the course. These activities should be completed independently from home, and we’ll have the chance to discuss what everyone’s learnt when we meet together in September.
The tasks are organised in three distinct steps and should all be completed by Choices Day on 30 August 2023. This is to give you the best insight into what the courses will be like and/or help prepare you for them.
Please note, some Course Leaders (for example for Music) may release their tasks earlier, as they may form part of the College’s audition process. If this applies to you, you’ll be notified separately.
When designing products, engineers have to select
appropriate methods, processes and components for the application. In your
first year of the Engineering course, as well as learning the mathematical
study of Engineering principles, you’ll explore Engineering design.
James Dyson is a famous British engineer, probably most famous for designing a vacuum cleaner. He owns a global technology enterprise of over 7,000 people. More than 3,000 of them are engineers. From acoustic to robotic, software to electronics, they use their diverse skills to solve the problems others ignore.
TASK: Watch this video to see a few of his employees talk about the different roles they perform as an engineer.
The James Dyson Foundation has developed a number of challenges for aspiring engineers. We’d like you to attempt at least one of these challenges.
TASK: Watch these six challenges and choose one to
start, it’s important to review the relevant worksheet and follow a design
process for your selected task. First sketch out your ideas. The following video
explains the importance of sketching.
Now complete one of the tasks. Choose one that interests you and you have all the materials for. Please don’t purchase any materials for this; if you don’t have something, try to adapt the task to use different free materials. If you want to try more, do as many as you like. Take some photos/videos and keep your sketches for us to review in September.
In the first year of the Engineering course you’ll develop knowledge and understanding of the required mathematical engineering principles, as well as how to deliver engineering processes safely as a team. In particular, you’ll develop knowledge of:
static and dynamic
direct and alternating
types of engineering
machines and the safety rules that govern their use
2D computer aided design for
planning for delivery of a
product in teams
Two-thirds of the first year
of the course is mathematical and relies on you having sound knowledge of GCSE
Physics and Mathematics, so it’s a good idea to go over some key processes and
concepts such as:
rearranging equations of
more than three terms
quadratics and simulataneous equations
forces, finding the
resultant of many forces as well as components of forces
resistance, current and
magnetism and motors; and
kinetic and gravitational potential energy and conservation of energy ideas.
Completing the following activities will help you do
this and so will prepare you for studying Engineering.
TASK 1: Rearranging formulae
Use the links below to help refresh your knowledge and
understanding of how to rearrange formulae, completing the questions where
The BBC website is a really good way to refresh your knowledge of Physics. Please use the following links, making sure you complete the activities on each page to submit on lined paper when we see you in September.
A key skill both for the course and for
working as an Engineer is being familiar with Computer Aided Design (CAD)
software. For this final series of tasks, we’d like you to attempt to learn the
basics of AutoCAD.
TASK 1: First of all you’ll need to download a free 30-day AutoCAD trial from here. Remember to check the system requirements first. Then go to Autodesk’s ‘Hitchiker’s Guide’ and work your way through the 12 basic tutorials.
When you’ve completed this, you should have a good grasp of the basic features and commands and be ready to move on to the process of drawing. The following free course will show you how to draw a range of components including gears and spanners.