Students from the South Wiltshire UTC learnt first- hand recently how engineering can help improve people’s lives.
The College invited in 21 year old Spencer Watts who uses a custom made motocross bike after being paralysed six years ago.
Spencer, who comes from Portsmouth, was just 15 years old when he had his accident. “I was determined not to give up and to carry on doing as much as I possibly could independently,” he said.
He went on looking at ways of adapting a motocross bike and get back riding and after a lot of research and proto types Spencer had a fully adapted bike by the end of 2013 and he’s now racing again.
All the students who listened to Spencer and met him were inspired by his story.
"Spencer was very inspirational. He showed me that you can still have a life and accomplish your dreams even after you are involved in a horrific accident,” said Year 11 student, Chris Lewis.
"Spencer showed determination to put his life back on track after his accident which was very inspirational,” said Year 10 student, Miren Tough.
Spencer also took his custom made motocross bike into the UTC to show the engineering students. It works with a frame that wraps around the bike and holds his legs in tight. The back brake is raised on to the left side of the handlebars along with a piston that bolts onto the gear lever so Spencer can change gear on the handlebars.
After the visit, Year 12 student Louis Austin said, "Engineering and science are always advancing, meaning day by day people can have their lives changed by this.”
Spencer who visits schools and colleges to talk about his accident said, “What an honour it was to be invited into the South Wiltshire UTC to talk about my injury and how there is a life after such a catastrophic injury. I was able to speak to all years at the college which I felt was great, it really is surprising how each age group reacts to it differently. What a great college and I look forward to working with them closely in the future.”
Principal of South Wiltshire UTC, Joe Mulligan said,” It was great to have Spencer come into college and apply a real life scenario to what the students are learning. Our engineering students by meeting Spencer and seeing his custom made bike can see how technology is improving people’s lives and this is something they could be a part of in the future."