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Primary schoolchildren ‘experience engineering excellence’

Posted on 21 Mar 2024. Edited by: John Hunter. Read 597 times.
Primary schoolchildren ‘experience engineering excellence’Pictured right: Claire O'Connor from Sellafield helping a student to construct a night rover

Young students recently got hands-on experience with crawler robots, drone simulators, and 3-D printers at a ‘state of the art’ engineering centre to celebrate British Science Week.

More than 50 children were treated to an immersive experience at Sellafield Ltd’s Engineering Centre of Excellence, shining a light on the exciting careers available in robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), and more.

The visit from Distington Community School to the engineering centre at Cleator Moor involved children, aged seven to 11, taking part in a a series of engineering challenges led by the team at the centre, each task designed to show the diversity an engineering career represents. Some tried their hand at constructing marshmallow and spaghetti towers, night rover robots, and paper rockets, while others took to the sky on a drone simulator.

The school visit was timed with British Science Week, a celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) that ran from 8-17 March this year. Through these events, the Engineering Centre of Excellence team endeavour to spark children’s interest in STEM subjects. The range of activities gave students an interactive opportunity to practice their scientific knowledge in an environment outside the classroom, where they were able to ask questions and learn more about life as an engineer.

Claire O’Connor, socio-economic lead at the Engineering Centre of Excellence, said: “It is always a pleasure to see the children interacting with our team and enjoying all aspects of STEM. We enjoy these days just as much as they do, and we hope that the students from Distington left the centre with enthusiasm for a career in engineering. This is where it starts, the experiences you have at school shape your attitude and expertise for the future. We want to play our part in laying the foundation for the next generation of engineers and innovators.”

Steven Bragg, year four teacher and science lead at Distiongton School, added: “Science feeds into everyday life, and with so many STEM careers here in Cumbria we wanted to let the children see what was right on their doorstep.”

This was the first school visit to Sellafield’s Centre of Excellence this year. The facility regularly hosts students, apprentices, and offers upskilling — helping to shape the region’s engineers.