SERC Skills for Work students from the Bangor Campus were given a tour of Belfast Zoo recently, as a thank you for manufacturing a bee, which is planned to be installed at the zoo as an aesthetic piece of art. Curator Raymond Robinson, who is also a part-time lecturer at SERC, provided the tour.
Raymond outlined the opportunity for the young engineers to design bespoke pieces for the zoo, as the animals require a range of items within their enclosures. These bespoke pieces allow the zookeepers to work safely with animals and it provides the animals with more interesting experiences such as metal troughs with holes to allow elephant trunks to source food.
“We were given a photo of a bee with flowers growing out of it when we were asked if we could make the bee” said lecturer William Henderson.
“This allowed us to have some creativity in the construction of the artistic bee piece and as a result, it was an incredibly beneficial experience for the students to be involved in a project like this for an organisation like Belfast Zoo” added William.
The process of creating the structure included gathering the trainees around a whiteboard, identifying and analysing the different stages of the process. They then planned for the most efficient method to manufacture, fabricate and weld the structure.
The structure was constructed in four areas, the thorax, abdomen, head and wings. These were fabricated using a series of ring pieces which were shaped accordingly to the part of the body.
This is the first in a series of pieces to be ordered by the zoo.
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