It’s that time of year again when we step up the search for the young scientists and engineers of the future.
The Gazette’s Young Engineers Challenge is back for a seventh year and this year’s winners – St Bede’s High School in Lytham – were on hand to help launch the 2019 contest.
Sponsored by Cuadrilla Resources and facilitated by Blackpool and the Fylde College, the competition will see the winning school awarded £10,000.
Earlier this year, St Bede’s excelled in a challenge where pupils were tasked with designing and constructing an electromagnet crane.
Andy Shaw, subject leader in design and technology, said the school was delighted to win, with the prize money going towards purchasing printers, laptops and a state of the art Roto Cam milling machine that enables students to design and construct large scale 3D models.
He said: “This funding couldn’t have come at a better time – I don’t know what we would have done without it.
“The equipment has helped the students enormously with their GCSE curriculum, and the number of students opting to take STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects has increased significantly.”
Now the college is preparing for next year’s competition, which takes place in March and will see up to 26 schools from across the Fylde coast battle it out for the cash prizes.
Jill Overland, finance and corporate services director at Cuadrilla, said: “I and many of the team at Cuadrilla have had the privilege of attending the Young Engineers competition over the past few years.
“It is wonderful to see how St Bede’s have utilised the £10,000 they won to provide much-needed new equipment and resources for the students.
“As we enter the seventh year of the competition, I hope that it continues to provide a spark for all students to consider STEM and the many career opportunities that this can open up.
“As a local employer, we are committed to putting Lancashire first and helping to train the next generation of engineers and scientists and we’re delighted to be supporting this event.”
Andy Iredale , director for stakeholder engagement at Blackpool and The Fylde College, said: “We’re extremely proud to be hosting the YoungEngineers competition for the seventh year, as producing skilled workers for industry is something we are renowned for at B&FC.
“It was great to see last year’s winning students working on the equipment which was bought with the prize money and our engineering team is already working hard on finalising next year’s challenge. Good luck to everyone who enters.”
How to enter
The competition will once again be a ‘blind’ challenge, with full details only revealed to the students at the qualifying event at Blackpool and The Fylde College on March 1 in the Advanced Technology Centre.
The most successful schools will be invited back to take part in the final on March 29, when one school will walk away with the £10,000 prize.
In addition to the main £10,000 competition, the STEM Champions competition will give students the chance to showcase their Stem Club activities to a panel of judges, with £2,000 in prize money up for grabs.
This takes place at Blackpool and The Fylde College on Friday January 25.
To register your school for the Young Engineers Challenge and the STEM Champions competition, call The Gazette promotions team on (01253) 361709.