Young engineers of the future wanted in Gloucestershire

To encourage children to become the engineers of tomorrow, GFirst LEP will be working with primary schools around the county to raise enthusiasm in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects through an innovative challenge to build and programme robots.

Launched earlier this year, the scheme was such an overwhelming success with nearly 4,000 pupils aged between 10 and 11 in schools across the county getting involved, it has been decided to repeat the programme again and engage even more primaryschools and employers like Delphi, Moog, Renishaw, SPP Pumps, Spirax Sarco, Corin, Helipebs, New Chapel Electronics and Invetech.

The scheme is being organised again by STEMworks and the Education Business Partnership (EBP). The EBP is part of GFirst LEP that works closely with schools across the county to help prepare young people for the workplace with practice job interviews and essential business skills.

Mike Curran, Business Sector Manager at GFirst LEP, said: “I am delighted that we are repeating this scheme again based on the huge success of the campaign earlier this year. We wanted to encourage a future generation of engineers in the county and help to establish better links between schools and businesses and this project has proved extremely successful in doing just that.”

The scheme that will start again in November will involve an engineer from a local company going into school assemblies to tell them about robotics, computers and their job. A class of students will then take part in a whole day workshop, with the support of a local engineering company, to introduce them to computer programming. 

The students will use this knowledge to program a robotic device which they have made from a construction kit.  The best team of three students from each school will then be invited to visit a local company, based within their district, to learn how they use computers within manufacturing.”

Involved in the scheme earlier this year, Mr Richard Vaughan, Head Teacher, Twyning Primary school said: “This project was amazing and to see the delight on the children’s faces when they completed their first moving robot was a pleasure. Without the vital assistance of local employers and GFirst LEP, the children would not have been able to have enjoyed this experience. As a school, we are always looking for new learning opportunities for our children and I’m sure as a result of this exposure, many more young children will be keen to follow a career in, science, technology, engineering and maths.”

Roman Cooper, Board Member of GFirst LEP and Chief Executive of Allcooper said: “Across the county, the project has been a huge success with nearly 4,000 primary school children getting involved. It has been met with such enthusiasm by youngsters and employers that we want to repeat the project again and get even more schools and companies involved.”

As part of our Strategic Economic Plan for growing Gloucestershire, we need to ensure that we have the right skills in the county and we are keen to encourage young people to pursue a future career in engineering and manufacturing and close the skills gap in this field.”

For more information about the STEM challenge, please contact Katherine Johnson at GFirst LEP on 01452 563354.

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