Engineering, Technology and Design

Inspiring Minds through Industry 4.0 and Immersive Technologies


Inspiring Minds through Industry 4.0 and Immersive Technologies

Over 60 key-stage 4 students visited CCCU on Saturday 23rd April as part of the Inspiring Minds outreach program, taking place through Spring 2024.

Students took part in an interactive lecture on Industry 4.0 and Immersive Technologies, followed by group practical seminars, enabling them to experience Virtual Reality within a safe educational setting.

Gareth Ward and Tim Jackson, both Senior Lecturers in the School of Engineering, Technology, and Design, led the planning and delivery of the sessions held in the £multi-million Verena Holmes Building at the Canterbury campus. The sessions aligned with the guiding principles of the Inspiring Minds initiative that focuses on making STEM exciting and engaging for school-aged students.

Gareth said, “It is a pleasure to take part in these outreach activities as they enable me to give back to the local community.  We know that Immersive Technologies have been, and continue to be, rapidly adopted in industry. Growing these skills supports students’ future career aspirations and is an area seeing continued investment at the University”.

Tim said, “It’s exciting to see XR technologies being used within education.  This is certainly the way forward for teaching, learning, assessment, and research. As we expand our Immersive Technologies provision here at the University, a larger number of curriculum areas will benefit from this technology”.

Industry 4.0 reflects the ideas that we are now living through the 4th industrial revolution, and potentially entering the 5th. This has had a major impact on how the industry functions, with a focus on maximizing the benefits that can come from integrating technologies such as AI, Virtual Reality, Big Data, Simulations and more. Foundational theories and practical applications for Virtual Reality were presented to students; they then had the opportunity to use modern equipment to experience the VR tutorial, ‘Oculus First Steps’, followed by being teleported into the International Space Station with ‘Mission: ISS’, the latter application linking with a previous session from the Inspiring Minds series, based upon ‘Space’.

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