ICE & Snow school trip takes learning to new heights

ICE & Snow is an annual, seven day ski trip combining engineering challenges with alpine activities

The ICE & Snow family ski trips have been successfully running for over 12 years and in January 2017 they took a new direction.

It started less than a year earlier when a brand new school, the London Design and Engineering University Technical College (LDEUTC), approached the ICE and Snow team and asked them to help organise their first school ski trip, incorporating a new engineering project, high in the Italian Alps.

The aim – to introduce students to ICE and engineering in a totally unique environment, experience working in teams, designing and manufacturing new products, enhance their programming skills and learn a fantastic new sport, all very different to their East London roots and diverse backgrounds.

Similar to the ICE family ski event, students participated in the usual skiing throughout the day, then by night a brand new exciting engineering challenge, working together to programme 5 humanoid robots, known as 'NAO', to ski.

View the video above and listen to Jason Bradbury (gadget show fame) narrate along with others about this amazing school and their unique relationship with ICE.

But this is not the whole story, so successful was the trip that the students presented their design and programming skills at Ecobuild Excel 7-9 March 2017 as part of the ICE stand and Future Engineers theme. The students talked about their robots and answered questions about their learning on this new ICE & Snow event. They explained how they made skis, 3D printed some of the bindings and eventually programmed the robots to ski. So inspiring was their story that in the middle of Ecobuild they were invited to The College Green at Westminster to talk to the BBC Live during the 2017 Budget. Listen to what they had to say.

ICE has promoted thought-provoking discussions on the future of artificial intelligence in the construction industry and a NAO robot has appeared at several ICE events, including last year when one 'interviewed' Arup director Tim Chapman for ICE Thinks.

View also some fun reports from the students prior to leaving on their Italian experience, Nao the Robot gets caught dreaming about skiing by students from LDEUTC and can a robot learn to ski?

ICE keen to take schools and colleges skiing to enhance learning outside the classroom

ICE along with LDEUTC and Interski would like to hear from other schools and colleges interested in including fun curriculum activities in their annual ski trip. ICE have already heard from a number of schools interested in the educational component of these trips, who are keen to take advantage of ICE's experience in organising such events in superb ski locations, at an affordable time within the ski season.

Contact Richard Armstrong at richard.armstrong@ice.org.uk or call 0207 665 2411.

Feedback from ICE ski trips

"I was going to take a degree in sport but after ICE & SNOW I am signing up for an engineering degree!"
Ben Shaw (team leader in 2009) aged 16

"We had a fantastic time and totally enjoyed watching the kids carry out their engineering games."
John Russell (parent 2010)

"A very big thank you for a really enjoyable trip. Hotel was fab, staff friendly and helpful, setting gorgeous, really fun company, totally inspiring engineering games and what a great ICE team!"
Antonia Graham (parent 2011)

"Having been an HR manager at BAE Systems such events make a great contribution to the future of engineering, especially when so many leave school with little insight into this field"
Martine Walling (parent 2014)

"My son Alexander (12) learned a lot on this ICE trip both on and off the slope. He is having to choose his GCSE options very soon and the trip gave him a great insight into the civil engineering world."
Moira Shaw (parent2016)

"The trip's combination of physical and mental literacy was an inspiration. The youngsters were really engaging to be with,."
Richard Barbour (ICE membership development officer 2016)

"I couldn't believe how bursting with ideas my just 10-year-old was. Iit is really beneficial to the children to have other engineering professionals who willingly facilitated in the background."
Martine Walling (parent 2016)

Find out more about our 2016 trip with this video

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