On Thursday 7th June we were really fortunate to be invited to bring along 25 year 10 students to the Materials Innovation Factory, part of the University of Liverpool. The Materials Innovation Factory is a brand new state of the
art science research facility. It is home to various employers such as Unilever who use this site to test and develop products for manufacture. Our students were treated to a really hands on interactive day.
On arrival, our students were set a robotics programming challenge which culminated in a race off between two teams. The aim of this session was to show how the use of robotics can help companies develop better methods of manufacture for their products. After the morning break, lab coats and safety glasses were donned as our students got to work in a laboratory. After a short practical chemistry tutorial, students conducted a test to discover the best emulsifiers. Students even got to make their own pot of hand cream!
The final session was delivered by Unilever staff who demonstrated how they use VR to assist them when they are building specialist robotic equipment. Students also went on a tour of the multi million pound robotics lab where testing on beauty and household products take place. This was a really inspiring day and as advanced manufacturing is a growth job area we were particularly pleased to show our students some of the possible job roles available. One student said of the visit "I didn't realise how much robotics were involved in the making of these products. This has been really interesting to see how Unilever test their products."