LOCAL SCHOOLS TEST THEIR ENGINEERING SKILLS AT PORTSMOUTH NAVAL BASE
Mon, 13 July 2015
Students from seven schools in the Solent region have put their design and build skills to the test in the BAE Systems 2015 Schools Engineering Challenge.
With the help of BAE Systems apprentices and graduates, nearly 60 children learnt the principles of ship design such as buoyancy, hull form, stability and watertight compartments before putting their new skills into practice by building a boat. The 10 week educational programme culminated in a final test of the model boats’ capabilities at Portsmouth Naval Base.
BAE Systems Graduate, Rebecca Perkins said: “The Schools Engineering Challenge is a great way of encouraging young people to consider careers in engineering because the practical application of designing, building and testing their own boats shows them that they already possess some of the skills required to be an engineer, such as team work and problem solving.”
In the final challenge, each of the boats underwent trials to test their speed, cargo carrying capability, sea keeping and survivability in rough seas. The boats were also judged on their weight, size and appearance. Competition was fierce but Trafalgar Academy in Portsmouth won the trophy and took home the Schools Engineering Challenge title.
Over the last 10 weeks pupils have moved from learning engineering theory to constructing their boats. The school groups received weekly guidance from a designated BAE Systems ambassador to help the pupils develop an understanding of the basic principles of engineering and naval architecture and how best to use the available resources to complete the project.
BAE Systems invests £80m per year in education, training and skills related activities. This includes funding the company's apprentice and graduate training programmes, schools liaison and university research and development programmes. As one of the largest employers of skilled engineers in the UK, BAE Systems is committed to encouraging young people to take a greater interest in science, technology, engineering and maths. The Schools Engineering Challenge forms part of BAE Systems’ drive to ensure the Company has the skills to compete successfully over the next decade and beyond.