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Students from Colyton Grammar School’s engineering club, in partnership with Axminster Tools & Machinery, have just won significant sponsorship from the Royal Society.

The grant of £1,356 is for a restoration project and the money will be used to restore a four-stroke JAP stationary engine. This will then be presented to industry experts.

Twelve students, led by design and technology teacher John Froud and a team of student leaders, are involved in the restoration project. Fraser Aitken, club leader, said the partnership would prove “an exciting opportunity for students to engage with engineering”.

Another exciting development is that the students have received an invitation to attend the Partnership Grants conference at the Royal Society next March. The aim of the conference is to give students the chance to experience a true scientific symposium.

Practical advice and support

Axminster Tools & Machinery is a corporate partner of Colyton Grammar School, providing professional guidance and the mentoring of students studying design and technology at the school. Axminster’s Engineering Team Leader, David Foden visits the school once a fortnight to give technical support to individual students. David is also in contact with them by email in between visits, advising on any issues.

David Foden with engineering club
David Foden with engineering club

The JAP stationary engine was originally owned by David. He had planned to undertake its restoration as a winter project, but then decided it would be an ideal project for the students. David has also loaned the engineering club many of his tools because working on the engine requires imperial spanners and so forth. The aim is to have the engine fully restored and in a running condition ready for the Tatworth Vintage Engine Rally in south Somerset, taking place in May or June 2018.

Additionally, David mentors A-level students with their design projects assisting with the costing of materials, packaging and machining. He also puts forward ideas and advice when asked.

You could say, after being fortunate enough to travel the world as an engineer, I find it very rewarding being able to give something back and help encourage another generation into engineering

David Foden (Axminster's Engineering Team Leader)

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