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Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Engineering skills of children and young people to be celebrated

07 June 2023

Local industry professionals will join with educators and parents to celebrate the design skills of hundreds of Jersey children and young people during two days of activities at Highlands College on 8 and 9 June. 

The winners of the National Leaders Award ‘best in age’ category will be presented with their certificates at the Thursday 8 June Awards Evening – from a total of nearly 900 local entries this year. 

A prototype of a winning entry from 2022 will also be unveiled for the first time by a team from Kingston University’s Engineering Faculty. 

The awards are part of a continuing drive to develop STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) skills from an early age, led by Skills Jersey and UK organisation Primary Engineer. Jersey Electricity – the local Primary Engineer partner – recently hosted the grading and judging days of the competition at the Powerhouse offices. 

Then, on Friday 9 June, more than 100 pupils from 13 primary schools across the Island will have the chance to demonstrate their construction and model vehicle projects to a panel of industry experts and teachers. These model builds have been constructed over many weeks in class alongside an industry professional from the construction sector. 

An exhibition of the shortlisted designs will be displayed at Highlands College throughout 8 and 9 June and Islanders are encouraged to view the incredible variety of creative design solutions to everyday problems. 

Primary Engineer is recognised for its award-winning work in the UK, combining industry and education to deliver engineering challenges for young people and communities, and helping to reduce the skills gap for this area of the economy. 

Minister for Children and Education, Deputy Inna Gardiner said: “I am delighted that this year’s National Leaders Award has seen nearly 900 entries from local primary children in Jersey, including an incredible 60% of entries being girls. 

“It is hugely important to encourage developing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) skills in primary age children, which will benefit them as they move further through their education and provide them with a wide range of future career opportunities. 

“All of the children involved in this competition have worked extremely hard on their entries and I wish them the best of luck.” 

Andrew Welsby, Director of Human Resources at Jersey Electricity, added: “Primary Engineer is a fantastic initiative that harnesses the creative and open-minded approach that youngsters bring to problem solving. JE is proud to be involved with Primary Engineer and to support the engineers of the future. From judging and grading entries to providing engineers to go into schools to talk about and develop their designs, we see the sparks this initiative ignites in young people’s minds, and we are looking forward to celebrating the children and young people on 8 June. 

‘We need to ensure that STEM-related careers are not overlooked in our small Island, and Primary Engineer reminds young Islanders of the options they have to create and grow really interesting and worthwhile careers.’ 

Dave Roworth, Senior Advisor, Digital and Innovation at Skills Jersey, said: “It’s been wonderful to have the support of our 13 Jersey Construction Council firms with this initiative, and these events will showcase the impressive talents of pupils across our schools whilst also acknowledging their teachers who are getting the very best from their pupils. 

“Around 50,000 pupils across the UK enter the competition each year and we have seen a record number of local entries, with around 60% being girls! All students get to interview local engineers about their work and hopefully gain a valuable insight and passion for engineering.”

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