Ethan Keen AlumniView All Profiles
Studying Aerospace Systems Engineering at Coventry University. Ethan studied Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Physics and EPQ at Sixth Form
“During my time in sixth form I was able to represent the school on numerous occasions and visits to other schools/universities. The freedom and control everyone was given at the sixth form improved the dynamic of the school completely. The fact that teachers, sixth form staff and students all respectfully interacted as peers, allowed for us to learn and grow as individuals, and also help run the sixth form in a way that worked best for us.”
My Experience of the EPQ
Up to the point of reaching the sixth form I had never completed a project like the EPQ as all of the previous qualifications that engineers need are theory based. As soon as I began my EPQ it was a self driven project, this allowed me to choose my field of aerospace engineering and go about researching and designing a working product. The theory alone that I researched due to the EPQ gave me enough understanding and knowledge to form the groundwork of my degree. With the EPQ support staff guiding me I was able to form a viable answer to the question I was asking, along with asking new questions and developing ideas. This also taught me how to criticise my work and optimise it for the problem at hand.
I have now completed 8 engineering projects during my first year at university. However, I consider my first engineering project to be the EPQ, and I credit the success of my other projects to the project I did in sixth form.
My Experience as a Sixth form Ambassador
During my time in sixth form I was able to represent the school on numerous occasions and visits to other schools/universities. On these occasions I was able to meet other students to promote the sixth form, but also build my communication skills. I was also given the freedom to act as a role model to my peers and younger students, this meant that I could help model the standards of dress code and general conduct around the school. I was also given the guidance and opportunity to practice speaking publicly at numerous open evenings, which helped me build confidence as well as promote my subjects for the school.
During my EPQ I started to experiment with 3D printing. The sixth form, while offering support, provided me with an opportunity to give back to the community using their own facilities to manufacture PPE. This equipment was later used in local care homes around Thetford, and also in the school.
I think as a whole, the freedom and control everyone was given at the sixth form improved the dynamic of the school completely. The fact that teachers, sixth form staff and students all respectfully interacted as peers, allowed for us to learn and grow as individuals, and also help run the sixth form in a way that worked best for us.
My Super-Curricular Experience - Trip to CERN
During my trip to CERN, I was able to witness the scale of the industry I was heading towards. While the inspiration I had found during this trip was enough on its own, I was also able to have a fairly thorough discussion with one of CERNs leading engineers. This was able to push the understanding of the curriculum to another level, which later was shown in my physics class.
Plans for the Future
I am looking towards entering the aerospace industry as a designer of aircraft/spacecraft systems. I am also an aspiring entrepreneur and am hoping to enter the world of software engineering in the future.