Website offers engineering teasers


An enterprising engineering department has launched a website aimed at helping the next generation of scientists to win places at leading universities.

As teenagers gear up for their university applications and interviews, the University of Cambridge’s Department of Engineering has developed a free online question bank of nearly 200 maths, physics and engineering problems.

From momentum and pulley dynamics to magnetic induction and voltage sources, youngsters stumped by a problem can click on a question and get detailed help from current engineering students at Cambridge on how to tackle it.

The project was developed by Professor Richard Prager in order to benefit students who want to study engineering. He explained: “Some schools are more experienced than others at preparing their pupils for competitive engineering entrance interviews.

“The website aims to level the playing field by providing a collection of technical interview questions that everyone can use for practice.

“The exercises are designed to inspire and challenge students. We hope that this will encourage them to consider studying engineering at university. By developing their problem-solving skills we can also help them to turn that ambition into a reality.”

The project team included four current Cambridge engineering undergraduates and the questions and videos were tested by teenagers who attended engineering summer schools at the university.

“I enjoyed solving these problems,” said one young tester. “They stretched me to think and I also learned a lot of new, different basic techniques.”

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