Redland Green School

RGS Bristol

Future Brunels

‘Future Brunels’ is an educational programme developed by the SS Great Britain Trust as part of the charity’s Brunel Institute work. The programme seeks to encourage more school children to pursue studies and a career in science and engineering and the content is inspired by the great Victorian engineer I.K. Brunel as well as today’s engineering and science heroes.

The ‘Future Brunels’ Programme has received the Highly Commended award in the Educational Initiative category at the Museums + Heritage Awards for Excellence.

The project is supported by lots of Bristol organisations. Special support is offered by the Brunel Institute Corporate Academy made up of Babcock, Rolls Royce, Airbus, Renishaw, BMT and Wessex Water.

Students are selected to take part in ‘Future Brunels’ based on their passion for science and engineering, their potential, and ability to work in teams.

The five-year rolling programme draws inspiration from Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s talents as an engineer, mathematician, artist and designer, and it covers:

• Year 1: ‘The Scientist’ – exploring the world and testing ideas
• Year 2: ‘The Polymath’ – combining art and science
• Year 3: ‘The surprising places STEM is utilised – from Sewage Works to magic tricks.
• Year 4: ‘The Engineer’ – pushing the boundaries and learning from mistakes
• Year 5: ‘The Human Being’ – impact of science and engineering and ethics

The ‘Future Brunels’ take part in the programme six times per year with activities at the Brunel Institute and access to sites which bring science and engineering alive. These have included Aardman Animation, Bristol University Engineering Department, The University of the West of England’s Crime Scene House, Thorpe Park and Southmead hospital to name a few.

How can your child get involved?

The rigorous selection process takes place over two days in May. Up to 50 students are nominated by staff due to their enthusiasm and interest in science and engineering. The first day is at school, led by Babcock and the ‘Future Brunels’ team, to design and build a Helipad Tower. At the end of the day twelve students are selected to take part in the second day.

The second day takes place at the Brunel Institute, which sits alongside the SS Great Britain, to work in teams with students from other Bristol schools to create and test aqueducts. This day is organised and run by engineering educational charity The Smallpiece Trust.

Members of the project team chose the ‘Future Brunels’ based on their potential, enthusiasm for science and engineering and a positive attitude to team working – not simply those who achieve the highest marks at school.
Our current ‘Future Brunels’

Year 8: Aleena A, Sufi S, Dylan
Year 9: Esme B, Ben S, Zahra B
Year 10: Jonny C, India G-C, Georgia R
Year 11: Poppy-Eve C, Hermione T-M, Kai D