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Renishaw inspires budding primary school engineers

Posted on 26 Mar 2024. Edited by: John Hunter. Read 637 times.
Renishaw inspires budding primary school engineersThe Blue Coat Technology Club hard at work

To encourage more young people to get excited about engineering, global engineering technologies company, Renishaw, supports the Technology Club at Blue Coat CEVA Primary School in Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire. The sessions are run by Technology for Fun, and enables year six students to experience hands-on engineering activities, building real working models that they then take home. The club runs for one term each year, and every session is supported by a Renishaw science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) ambassador.

Technology for Fun is dedicated to educating young people about engineering. It offers fun, engaging STEM activities and resources including project books, class kits and teacher resources. Its founder, Caroline Alliston, originally set up the Blue Coat School’s Technology Club in 2008 to specifically inspire young people about STEM. The activities teach students a variety of engineering techniques and the models they make use recycled materials where possible. For example, one of the activities this term was to make ‘chairoplanes’ using CDs, wine corks, water bottles and other household items, using an electrical circuit to power the device.

Renishaw has been providing STEM ambassadors to support the activities since 2012. Dr Suk Kinch, a principal design and development engineer, is a Renishaw STEM ambassador who helped with this term’s club sessions. Dr Kinch has been working with Renishaw’s neurological product line for the last 13 years and was selected as one of the Top 50 Women in Engineering in 2021.

Dr Kinch said: “I have been involved as a STEM ambassador for many years now, and my career was inspired by engineers coming into my school. These workshops allow the children to access a space where they can explore, be curious about technology and gain a tangible insight into a career as an engineer.”

Ms Alliston explained: “One of the great things about getting Renishaw STEM ambassadors involved is that a high proportion of them are women. This helps break down the gender stereotype that STEM careers are only for men and provides girls with strong role models. Engineering is not included in the core curriculum, so children do not find out what engineering is and whether they would enjoy and be good at it. It is important to engage them at primary age when they are very enthusiastic and open to new ideas.”

Renishaw runs an extensive STEM outreach programme, which includes supporting multiple local schools with visits to dedicated education centres at its Gloucestershire and South Wales sites. The programme aims to inspire young people to consider science and engineering as future career options.

For further information on Renishaw’s STEM outreach programme, visit the website here.