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Sunderland College of Mechanics

A group of children across Year 5 and 6 enjoyed a brilliant opportunity to visit the College of Mechanics in Sunderland. Our morning was split into two workshops. The first workshop focused on the exterior of a car and the work and design that goes into each and every car repaired in the garage. The children learnt all about the different careers involved with looking after the exterior including the process of spray painting each vehicle. Did you know the spray rooms can reach a whopping 82°C? This is in order to dry cars in as little time as half an hour so they can be driven the same day! The children had opportunities to use the spray gun to paint, with many agreeing it is harder than it looks and takes skill and experience! Alongside this the children tried on the equipment, including a ventilated mask that provides you with cold, fresh air to avoid employees’ spending hours each day breathing in fumes from the paint.

The second workshop took us into the garage where we focused on the mechanical side of repairing a vehicle. We were given a tour of the workshop where we learnt lots about the different equipment and machinery and what it is used for. This linked brilliantly with our learning in Design Technology for the week with children spotting different mechanisms all around them. Next, we were shown how to remove and replace a spark plug using a socket wrench extension, a ratchet, and a little strength the children could successfully complete this task and recite the steps they were taking. Finally, children demonstrated their mechanical skills when removing a wheel nut (lug nut) from a “real car!” (Jack). The children took turns at using the impact driver (an electric drill used to remove lug nuts) to remove and replace a wheel nut stating they felt like they were in the pit stops at Formula 1! Throughout the day all children were engaged and kept busy through conversations about what the college offers, different career paths and the different activities present. The college were impressed with both the children’s interest and knowledge shown throughout – an excellent morning all round! Finished with Oliver asking, “When can we visit again?” before we had even stepped outside the building.