Driving AND whale watchingLast week we promised a write up from the ‘mini-mechanic’ who entered the Global Working video competition earlier this year. He was sponsored by Kevan Hall, Global Integration’s CEO, to attend a mechanics course in Canada. Rhys is 12 and lives in England.

Where did you go for the course, and why?

I went to UBC (University of British Colombia) in Vancouver, Canada.

I was in the engineering part of UBC. There aren’t engineering courses like it running in England, which is where I live, so this was a brilliant opportunity for me.

What was the best bit of your course?
The brain drop: an impact gel designed to simulate human skin, which we covered in plaster to simulate a skull. We had to make helmet for it. My team’s helmet didn’t survive – but no-one else’s did either. It was my first introduction to bio-medical engineering.

You want an international career in formula one racing. Did the course help?
We learned about the car they use on the Shell eco-challenge, and lot more about engineering. There were so many types of engineering to look at – including mechanical and the biomedical that I mentioned.

We also looked at robotics – I made a robot. It was supposed to dance – we gave it a cool routine to do. Unfortunately it didn’t do the dance we expected because of the surface it was on. It just did some circular moves and crashed a lot. Another team’s robot ripped its cable out as well. The whole thing ended up more like robot wars!

The things that didn’t go right taught us more than the things that did, sometimes. We laughed a lot.

Do you think green technologies are the way forward, for cars, then?
Yes. My family takes me to Ecovelocity every year, and Formula Student, where the eco cars at are getting faster.

What did you learn about Canada?
It’s a really nice place. The weather was great (in August). They loved my English accent, but mostly people are the same. Everything is written in both English and French, but we weren’t in a French speaking area, so my French didn’t get better.

The trains in Vancouver are slower and much bigger than at home. Different cars are popular, and they are called different names to in the UK.

I managed to go whale watching there as well – we saw a pod of transient Orca – there were five or more. That was exciting.

Are you glad now that you agreed to put back the date of the video competition?
Of course. Thank you for the opportunity. I’m definitely going to go back to Canada. I want see more. Could you run another competition please?

About the author:

Claire Thompson Claire has a background in PR and communications, and has worked in the UK and abroad for many years. Within Global Integration, she's the frontline for co-ordinating the blogging, social media, posting and general digital magic that team members ask for support with. It keeps her busy - she loves it! Google+ Profile: .

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