25 June 2019
The design skills of hundreds of children and young people will be celebrated next week, when more than 100 students will pitch their engineering designs to a panel of experts while others will receive national awards.
Next Wednesday 3 July the Lieutenant-Governor, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, will be among an audience of teachers and parents to watch students demonstrate and test their model cars and fluid power systems before judges select a top entry. Later that day, winners of a national engineering competition will be given awards, and one winning student will have their design built by engineering students from Kingston University.
The events are a culmination of months of work to promote STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects. In May roughly 700 students, three out of four of whom were girls, were Jersey’s first cohort to take part in the national Leaders Award competition, following a partnership between Skills Jersey and UK organisation Primary Engineer. The contest saw children from 43 schools and nurseries interview and work alongside engineers from various fields to design a product that solves a particular problem.
Dave Roworth, of Skills Jersey, said: “It’s been a fantastic first year with this initiative and these events will allow us to showcase the talent in our schools and thank all their teachers who get the very best from their pupils.
“Around 48,000 pupils across the UK have taken part in the competition, and we have seen 700 Jersey schoolchildren involved, with three in four being girls, which is really helping to challenge the stereotype in this field. All students have been able to meet and interview local engineers about their work and passion for engineering.”
Director of Young People, Further Education, Skills and Learning, Saboohi Famili, who is an engineer herself, said: “I have been impressed by the students’ designs and, as a judge on the selection panel, found the quality of work submitted to be very high. Our work at Skills Jersey and Highlands College continues to bring together a diversity of participants in varying subject areas. I am proud of the work we do to help raise awareness of the different pathways for our young people on island.”
The Assistant Minister for Education, Deputy Jeremy Maçon, said: “Ensuring our education system offers a diverse range of provision is a key priority for us as a government. Both competitions have inspired our young people to contemplate a career in engineering and I am delighted to have seen such a high level of participation and excellent response from schools. We continue our work to support our young people with their career choices and hope to bring about the information and knowledge they need to make informed decisions. We live and work in a knowledge economy in Jersey and it is important for us to focus on the future skills needed to flourish as a community.”
An exhibition of shortlisted work will be displayed at Highlands College on 4 and 5 July and Mr Roworth has encouraged islanders to take a look at the array of creative design solutions to everyday problems. “The exhibition of work provides an exciting glimpse into the mind of tomorrow’s engineers who range in age from three to 18 years,” he said.
Primary Engineer are recognised for their award-winning work in the UK, bringing together industry and education to deliver engineering challenges for young people and communities, and helping to reduce the gap in skills for this area of the economy.
Local engineers and companies wishing to be involved in this initiative for 2020 should contact email@example.com