Category Archives: IETWinner

What Michael Sulu did with his prize money

Mike was voted the winner of Production Zone in November 2015. Here he reports back on the outreach activities he was able to do thanks to his £500 prize money.

If you’re an engineer who’d like funding to support your own STEM outreach activities, apply now for I’m an Engineer, Get me out of here at

I had grand plans for the prize money, I think everyone does! But I wasn’t expecting the year to pan out how it did! My first thought was to create a low-cost bioreactor to use as a tool to explain biochemical engineering, but it turns out that ‘low cost’ is a relative term and £500 wouldn’t stretch far enough to allow me to make more than 1! And to make more schools would need some specialist equipment, such as a 3D printer. So I moved the goal posts.

Materials I developed for my Golem workshop

Next idea, was to take part in a festival with a known schools outreach program and as such I partnered with Oron Catts, Ionat Zurr and the Shuffle Festival to create a workshop on cell growth interwoven with the story of a Golem, which is an anthropomorphic shape that is animated to life (think Frankenstein’s monster made from clay) from folklore. Unfortunately two things happened:

  1. I spent all of the budget and more on materials for the workshop
  2. The workshop got cancelled because the festival lost a lot of extra funding and had to shorten its programme.

We did stil engage with the general public at the festival (see the video above) and got some people from local schools to help with its creation but it was not as far reaching as I had hoped.

I was not disheartened! I was able to use the money (with help from my university, UCL) for another engineering festival, SMASHfestUK! I designed and built elements for a ‘survival village’ that happened in South East London this February.

Me helping out at SMASHfestUK | Image: Wyn Griffiths

I’m now keen to go back to my first idea of the bioreactor, and I’m also working with some PhD students in my department to make an educational tool for schools, which revolves around a board game to explain vaccine research, development and manufacturing.

Posted on August 2, 2017 modantony in IETWinner, Winner Reports | Leave a comment

What Mohamed Salaheldin did with his prize money…

Mohamed won the Communications Zone in 2015. He donated his prize money to Code Club, read on for how the organisation used the £500.

If you’re an engineer who’d like funding to support your own STEM outreach activities, apply now for I’m an Engineer, Get me out of here at

“At Code Club, we think all children should have the opportunity to learn to code, no matter who they are or where they come from. To do this, we support a nationwide network of volunteers and educators who run free coding clubs for children aged 9-11 to build and share their ideas, learning along the way.

Mohamed’s donation of £500 enabled 7 children to have a full year of Code Club sessions (39 club sessions) in 2015. The cost of running a club is split into volunteer recruitment, vetting and training, creation of project resources and ongoing support of volunteers and schools.

Mohamed said “It was my pleasure to choose Code Club. I truly believe that this experience is very beneficial to the children, in fact it’s really important for them to learn about computational thinking and problem solving techniques. This will be of great added value, even if they don’t realize it now!”

We currently have over 8,000 clubs in over 80 countries, and our club projects have been translated in 15 languages.

Our projects are easy to follow step-by-step guides which help children learn Scratch, HTML & CSS and Python by making games, animations, and websites. The projects gradually introduce coding concepts to allow children to build their knowledge incrementally, meaning there’s also no need for the adult running the session to be a computing expert.

Code Club was founded in 2012, and in 2015 joined forces with the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a registered UK charity. Code Club is a key educational programme for the Foundation, working to help many more young people learn how to build their ideas with code.”

Posted on May 3, 2017 modantony in IETWinner, Winner Reports | Leave a comment

What Stevie Wray did with his prize money…

Stevie was voted the winner of the Energy Zone in November 2015. Here he reports back on how he used his £500 prize money for more engineering outreach.

If you’re an engineer who’d like funding to support your own STEM outreach activities, apply now for I’m an Engineer, Get me out of here at

My winnings from the 2015 Energy Zone of I’m an Engineer, Get me out of here have now started to be put to good use! I’ve donated the money to Science Oxford who organise Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) outreach activities in Oxfordshire (and beyond). They’ve restarted a club that is close to my heart called the Creative Computing Club; in this incarnation they are using BBC micro:bits to teach children to code and understand a bit about computing in general – even down to the electronics level! The initial plan for the money was to fund places in the previous version of the club for girls on their (already quite cheap) sessions but only a few people took them up on this and half of them didn’t even turn up!

Stevie and the new coders taking part in his workshops

Stevie and the new coders using the programmable micro:bit computers

With lessons learnt in mind, the money has now been put towards hardware for the micro:bits to allow for more engaging projects. This January I helped Sarah at Science Oxford and some other amazing volunteers to run the free taster sessions for this new club. In this taster session we got kids, and sometimes their parent and grandparents, learning how to program the micro:bit with Python (my personal favourite programming language). They were making a heartbeat by displaying a pulsating heart image on the micro:bit itself and connecting a speaker to the output pins to make it pulse along with the picture.

This was all done in half an hour, with the session repeated 4 and a half times on the day. Only one person came to the last session so I’m counting it as a half… We received a load of positive feedback for the sessions and everyone I spoke to said they were going to come back for the full-fat hour and a half sessions starting at the end of February.

One of the workshop sessions in full swing

One of the workshop sessions in full swing

The specific hardware that’s been bought is micro:bit breakout boards, giving easy access to all of the general purpose input and output (GPIO) pins of the micro:bit. This is going to be particularly useful for the final project in this creative computing series of making a “MicroBot”. That’s a micro:bit controlled robot! There should be enough money from the I’m an Engineer money to buy a fair few robot chassis too. I think this club will be a big success and enthuse loads of children to learn more about the technology around them.

For up-to-date information on the creative computing clubs check out the Science Oxford website. Also, if you’re interested in doing stuff like this and you can’t make it to Oxford on Saturday mornings then I advise you to buy (or maybe receive for free if you’re a lucky year 7) a micro:bit to just get stuck in! There are loads of freely available tutorials and low cost bits of hardware making for a cheap, fun hobby!

Posted on March 1, 2017 modantony in IETWinner, Winner Reports | Leave a comment