03 November 2020
More than 600 Jersey school children have entered this year’s Primary Engineer Competition, If You Were an Engineer, What Would You Do which could see their engineering designs developed and brought to life by university students.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the programme, which aims to promote science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) subjects, saw 30,000 children from early years to sixth form from across the British Isles taking part.
Primary Engineer is recognised for its training and development programmes and is one of only three STEM partners for the Ministry of Defence. The initiative brings together industry and education to deliver engineering challenges for young people and communities to help reduce the gap in skills in this area.
Children were invited to think of a problem that they face every day and design a solution. Undergraduate engineering students at Kingston University will bring to life the winning design for Jersey. Last year’s winner was a ‘Seater-scooter’ designed by a student at Beaulieu.
Shortlisted entries from this year’s competition are currently being judged and all the winning entries for the Island will be featured in an online public gallery on 4 November.
Dave Roworth, of Skills Jersey, said: “Despite this year presenting many difficulties, we have been able to adapt and use technology to keep children motivated and creative. Even our local industry judges, have had to adapt by going online to access the shortlisted designs, before selecting our final winners!”
Jersey Electricity, one of the largest employers of engineers in Jersey, is the industry partner of Primary Engineer, and is funding the programme in the Island for the second year running.
Andrew Welsby, HR Director at Jersey Electricity, said: “We’re passionate about inspiring young people to become our engineers of the future.
“This programme is a fantastic way for our engineers to engage with young Islanders of all backgrounds, ethnicities and genders in solving day-to-day problems with engineering solutions and, hopefully, inspire some of them to build a career in engineering.
“Jersey Electricity is committed to diversity and inclusion and we offer exciting and rewarding careers to youngsters in most engineering disciplines. Primary Engineer helps us to showcase this.”
The Assistant Minister for Education, Deputy Jeremy Maçon, added: “It’s great to see so many young people engaging and getting creative with STEM Subjects, especially seeing more girls participating which helps tackle the stereotypes in the industry.
“Having this programme available for children in Jersey gives them the opportunity to showcase their creativity in everyday problem solving.”
The online public gallery for local award winners can be accessed here